GlaxoSmithKline gets American approval for its latest lung drug

City A.M. Reporter
SHARES in GlaxoSmithKline gained 3.2 per cent yesterday after a US panel recommended approval of new lung drug Breo Ellipta.

The inhaled drug to treat smoking-related lung damage has been developed with GSK’s partner Theravance.

The green light came from an advisory panel to the US Food and Drug Administration. Britain’s biggest drugmaker may still face a battle to convince patients and doctors to use the new product widely.

The decision is a relief for investors, who had been worried that some mixed clinical trial results might result in the panel of experts snubbing Breo, which GSK is banking on as a replacement for its ageing top-seller Advair.

Deutsche Bank analysts said they now assumed US Breo revenues of around £300m by 2016, from zero previously, and forecast GSK’s respiratory franchise would grow from £7.3bn in the last year to more than £8bn in 2016.

Still, Breo may not fly off the shelves. Tim Anderson of Bernstein said that patients and doctors were generally happy with Advair and that, because Breo was only a slight improvement, it was unlikely to see rapid adoption.