GlaxoSmithKline has linked up with inhaled drug specialist Vectura Group in an agreement which will give the latter a £10 million cash boost next month.

Specifically, GSK has signed a worldwide non-exclusive agreement to license some of Vectura’s dry powder drug formulation patents in relation to two late-stage compounds in the healthcare giant’s respiratory product pipeline.

Under the terms of the pact, Vectura will receive an initial up-front payment of £10 million in September and another £10 million by the time both compounds are launched. In addition, the Chippenham-headquartered firm will earn royalties on the two products of up to £13 million.

Vectura chief executive Chris Blackwell noted that GSK is “one of the world's leading developers of innovative respiratory medicines and I believe this deal reflects the importance of Vectura's respiratory technology intellectual property”. He added that “the non-exclusive nature of this agreement also allows us to continue our efforts to deliver further value for shareholders from our inhaled therapy technologies in the future”.

Vectura reacquired the US rights to a compound called VR315 from Novartis unit Sandoz in March, which is reportedly a generic version of GSK’s asthma blockbuster Advair (fluticasone/salmeterol).