GSK shares are hit by drug trial results

 
City A.M. Reporter
SHARES in GlaxoSmithKline slipped four per cent after the announcement of disappointing results from its new asthma drug yesterday.

Britain’s biggest drugmaker said it still planned to put lung medicine Relovair up for regulatory approval in the middle of this year.

But clinical trials have not shown the new treatment to be better than GSK’s flagship asthma drug Advair.

Mark Clark, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, said the data was poor and the failure to beat Advair in clinical outcomes would reduce Relovair’s commercial potential and GSK’s pricing power for the product.

“This means any advantage is limited to its once- versus twice-daily format,” he said. Clark also believes GSK may now have trouble getting Relovair approved, since the results were inconsistent across trials and reports of fatal pneumonia in some of the studies were a potential concern.

The fact that Relovair, which will be aimed at sufferers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as well as asthma, is only inhaled once a day, was expected to give it an advantage.

Darrell Baker, senior vice president at GSK said: “Having undertaken an initial assessment of these data we believe they support our plan to seek global approvals of this once-daily medicine for the treatment of patients with COPD and asthma.”