UK chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients will be cheered by the news that Pfizer has signed a deal to promote two new drugs developed by Novartis.
The therapies in question are Seebri (glycopyrronium) and Ultibro (indacaterol/glycopyrronium) delivered through Novartis’ Breezhaler device. While the former has been available in the UK market since November 2012, Ultibro, which has a European licence, has not yet been launched.

Pfizer says it plans to make Ultibro available in the UK in due course, where there are approximately three million COPD sufferers. Novartis will continue to be responsible for the manufacture, sales and distribution of both medicines, in addition to regulatory, pharmacovigilance and medical information commitments.   
Fred Guerard, general manager of Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK, said “we are confident that together with the resources and expertise of Pfizer…we will help maximise access and availability of these important medicines for COPD patients”. He added that the firm will focus its resources on “equally important disease areas with high patient need such as oncology, wet age-related macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis and severe asthma, and on our pipeline products in areas such as heart failure and psoriasis”.
Jonathan Emms, Pfizer UK’s managing director, added that the deal “is good news for UK patients, as well as for both organisations”.