GSK culls a host of pipeline meds after failures, prioritization

GlaxoSmithKline GSK House in Brentford, UK
(GlaxoSmithKline)

GlaxoSmithKline is making headlines for its COVID-19 vaccine work, but it has quietly swept away a series of pipeline assets amid its quarterly results posted Wednesday morning.

The U.S. Big Pharma is culling (PDF) five experimental drugs in all, each targeting a different area and for a mixture of reasons.

First up, its chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) vaccine, which in initial data from its proof-of-concept study “showed it did not meet the primary endpoint,” and, while GSK said work is ongoing to better understand the data, “no progression to phase 3 is planned.” It’s a similar story for GSK'078 (SARM) for COPD muscle weakness, which has been killed off as the “data did not support progression in this indication.”

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And then there are the victims of “portfolio prioritisation,” namely: GSK'557 for PI3K delta syndrome, GSK'394 (combinectin) for HIV and GSK'091 (a TLR4 agonist) for cancer.

As ever, there were few extra details on exactly why these three were moved or whether they will be shipped out to others.

GSK’s second-quarter sales were off by 3% at constant exchange rates as it, like every other Big Pharma, battles pandemic headwinds. The company saw its shares down 1.5% premarket on the update.

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