Spain's Almirall has set up an affiliate in Canada, which will provide a base for the firm's promotion plans for its recently-approved chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drug aclidinium.

The Barcelona-headquartered group said that the setting-up of the subsidiary in Toronto represents the establishment of its first direct presence in the North American territory. Chief executive Eduardo Sanchiz claimed that Almirall "will now have the opportunity to make directly available to Canadian patients a range of innovative medicines, especially in the respiratory and dermatology fields”.

The Canadian pharmaceutical market is the eighth-largest globally and Mr Sanchiz said the new affiliate is another milestone in our internationalisation process". Almirall now has 13 subsidiaries.

The main focus will be on aclidinium which will be co-promoted with Forest Laboratories in Canada. It was approved in Europe in July as Eklira Genuair, just after the US Food and Drug Administration gave the green light to the long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) where it is sold as Tudorza Pressair.

A Phase III clinical development programme of a fixed-dose combination of aclidinium plus formoterol, an established long-acting beta 2-agonist (LABA) twice-daily is currently underway.