) received positive news when the FDA approved its asthma
treatment, Arnuity Ellipta.
Arnuity Ellipta has been approved in doses of 100 mcg and 200
mcg as a once-daily inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) medicine for
maintenance treatment of asthma as prophylactic therapy in patients
aged 12 years and above. Glaxo had evaluated the efficacy and
safety of Arnuity Ellipta in more than 3,600 patients suffering
The approval of Arnuity Ellipta should relieve Glaxo as its
respiratory product portfolio has been facing challenges of late.
Meanwhile, Glaxo's plans to transition and diversify its
respiratory portfolio are underway. The transition is expected to
continue over the next 2-3 years.
During the second quarter of 2014, Glaxo filed Breo for approval
in the U.S. for asthma. In Jul 2014, Glaxo initiated a phase III
study, IMPACT, to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the triple
combination of FF/UMEC/VI in patients with chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD). Glaxo also plans to file its first
biologic, mepolizumab, for severe asthma by the end of 2014.
Increasing competition and pricing pressure has adversely
impacted Glaxo's results in recent times. The company expects new
products such as Breo, Anoro and Incruse, along with expected
approvals to drive sales in the coming quarters. We cautiously
watch Glaxo's plans to transform its lagging respiratory
Glaxo carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Some better-ranked
stocks in the healthcare sector include Allergan (
), AstraZeneca (
), and AbbVie (
). While Allergan sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), the other
two carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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