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UPDATE 1-Glaxo starts late-stage tests with “Son of Advair”

Posted Oct 29 2009 11:02pm

advair An experimental lung drug that GlaxoSmithKline hopes will be a successor to top-seller Advair has started final-stage clinical tests, the British drugmaker and its partner Theravance said on Tuesday.

Treatment has commenced as part of a Phase III programme to develop the next-generation combination medicine for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), also known as “smoker’s lung”.

So far, dosing is limited to two 12-month studies but patient screening is underway in a further three studies within the so-called Horizon programme, which will involve 6,000 patients in all, the companies said in a statement.

The clinical tests will assess a new once-daily long-acting beta agonist (LABA), known by the code ‘444, in combination with a daily corticosteroid, fluticasone furoate.

The project is important because Glaxo’s existing blockbuster inhaler Advair could encounter generic competition in the key U.S. market in 2011. It is also facing increased competition from new arrivals.

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