Spain’s Almirall has published encouraging data from a mid-stage study of a new compound which it is already looking to partner as a treatment for asthma.

The Barcelona-based group says that a Phase II multi-dose study shows the “fast-acting and long-lasting efficacy”, of LAS100977, a novel once-daily inhaled beta-2 agonist for the treatment of bronchoconstriction in asthmatic patients. Almirall also noted that development of a once daily fixed-dose combination of the new compound with an undisclosed corticosteroid is ongoing, using the firm’s Genuair inhaler.

Per Olof Andersson, R&D executive director at Almirall, said “we believe that the combination of LAS100977 with an already identified corticosteroid has the potential to become a best in class respiratory treatment.” He added that “we look forward to announcing a partnership for the development and commercialisation of this novel drug in 2009.”

Almirall noted that it has already started discussions with potential partners and said that it is also planning studies of the drug in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The company’s lead product candidate is the COPD therapy aclidinium bromide.