Novartis Cough-Drug Study Is Good News for Glaxo, Barclays Says

Vectura Group Plc and Novartis AG’s positive results in a late-stage study for the experimental QVA149 treatment for smoker’s cough validates a competing drug in development from GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Barclays Capital Inc. analysts said.

While QVA149 showed superior lung function in the study when compared with Glaxo’s best-selling Seretide, Glaxo and partner Theravance Inc. are also developing a new treatment combining Glaxo’s 719 and 444 drugs, which are in the same classes as the QVA149 combination medicine.

“We anticipate Glaxo’s product will be highly competitive, packaged in a multidose dry powder inhaler, compared with Novartis’s single-dose inhaler,” Barclays said in a note to investors today. “Glaxo will also likely exert its respiratory marketing strength to maximum effect.”

Glaxo deepened its 10-year collaboration with Theravance this month by boosting its stake in the company to 27 percent from 18 percent. The companies are developing new respiratory drugs to help succeed Glaxo’s Seretide, marketed as Advair in the U.S.

Three more studies on QVA149 will be completed this year, and Chippenham, England-based Vectura expects U.S. regulatory filings for QVA149 and NVA237 in 2014, according to a statement today. Late-stage studies on 719 and 444 will probably be released toward the end of this year or in early 2013, Barclays said.

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