LONDON, PHILADELPHIA and SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) and Theravance, Inc. (Nasdaq: THRX) today announced the start of large Phase 2b asthma dose-optimization studies with both the lead inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) GW685698 ('698) and the lead long-acting beta agonist (LABA) GW642444 ('444) assets in the 'Horizon' program to develop a next-generation combination product.
GSK began enrolling patients with mild to severe asthma in the '698 Phase 2b clinical program on 21st December 2007 and began enrolling patients with persistent asthma in the '444 Phase 2b clinical program on 29th December 2007. These clinical programs will determine the most effective doses to be taken into Phase 3 combination studies. The Phase 2b COPD program with '444 is also on schedule to commence in 1H 2008.
Darrell Baker, SVP GSK Respiratory Medicines Development Centre said, "The program is progressing well and we are delighted to have two very strong assets to progress into our large Phase 2b studies." He continued, "We have seen encouraging results in previous studies and have confidence in our ongoing program. Both asthma and COPD are serious, debilitating diseases where there remains a considerable unmet need. We believe through this program we will introduce a meaningful option for the treatment of patients with these conditions."
"We are very pleased to have met the important milestone of initiating the larger Phase 2b studies with the lead compound '444 and with the progress of '698," said Rick E Winningham, Chief Executive Officer at Theravance. "Based upon recent clinical and preclinical results, the collaboration's confidence in the overall profile of '444 has increased and we are focusing our resources on this compound to move it forward as quickly as possible. This important step brings us closer to our joint goal of bringing a new treatment option to patients in this important therapeutic area."
These studies will enroll in excess of 2,400 patients recruited globally. The '444 LABA Phase 2b dose-optimization study will enroll approximately 600 patients with persistent asthma who are receiving inhaled steroids. The '698 ICS Phase 2b studies will be undertaken in three separate studies in mild, moderate and severe asthma patients with a total enrollment of 1,800 patients. All studies will be carried out using a new inhaler device. In parallel, enabling studies involving '444 and '698 given in combination will be undertaken prior to commencing large-scale Phase 3 combination studies.
In a recently-completed Phase 2 study, '698 demonstrated once-a-day efficacy in patients with moderate asthma, with significant improvements in lung function in excess of 200mL seen within the first two weeks of dosing and maintained throughout the remainder of the 8 week treatment period, without any adverse effect on adrenal function (a marker of systemic steroid effect).
Darrell Baker concluded, "Our goal will be to offer patients the benefit of a once-daily medication to address a significant unmet patient need. As a leader in respiratory medicine, GSK is leveraging years of experience in the development of combination products with the goal of providing physicians and patients with an effective and innovative medicine."
GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. GlaxoSmithKline is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For company information visit www.gsk.com.
Theravance is a biopharmaceutical company with a pipeline of internally discovered product candidates. Theravance is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule medicines across a number of therapeutic areas including respiratory disease, bacterial infections and gastrointestinal motility dysfunction. Of the six programs in development, four are in late stage -- its telavancin program focusing on treating serious Gram-positive bacterial infections with Astellas Pharma Inc., the Gastrointestinal Motility Dysfunction program, the Horizon program (Beyond Advair collaboration) with GlaxoSmithKline, and TD-1792 for the treatment of serious Gram-positive bacterial infections. By leveraging its proprietary insight of multivalency toward drug discovery focused on validated targets, Theravance is pursuing a next generation strategy designed to discover superior medicines in areas of significant unmet medical need. For more information, please visit the company's web site at www.theravance.com. THERAVANCE(R), the Theravance logo, and MEDICINES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE(R) are registered trademarks of Theravance, Inc.
GlaxoSmithKline Forward-Looking Statements
Under the safe harbor provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by the company, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect the Group's operations are described under 'Risk Factors' in the Business and Prospects in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2006.
Theravance Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain "forward-looking" statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding, among other things, statements relating to goals, plans, objectives and future events. Theravance intends such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 21E of the Exchange Act and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Examples of such statements include statements relating to the goals, timing and expected results of clinical and preclinical studies, statements regarding the potential benefits and mechanisms of action of drug candidates, statements concerning the goals and timing of seeking regulatory approval of our product candidates, the enabling capabilities of Theravance's approach to drug discovery and its proprietary insights, statements concerning expectations for product candidates through development and commercialization and projections of revenue and other financial items. These statements are based on the current estimates and assumptions of the management of Theravance as of the date of this press release and are subject to risks, uncertainties, changes in circumstances, assumptions and other factors that may cause the actual results of Theravance to be materially different from those reflected in its forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements include, among others, the potential that results of clinical or preclinical studies indicate product candidates are unsafe, ineffective, inferior or not superior, and delays or failure to achieve regulatory approvals and risks of collaborating with third parties to develop and commercialize products. These and other risks are described in greater detail under the heading "Risk Factors" contained in Item 1A of Theravance's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 7, 2007 and the risks discussed in our other filings with the SEC. Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Theravance assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements.