Further results from the UK Salford Lung Study have been unveiled showing that GlaxoSmithKline's Relvar Ellipta is better than the standard of care in reducing exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The data, published by the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that for patients treated with Relvar Ellipta 100/25mcg (fluticasone furoate 'FF'/vilanterol 'VI' or 'FF/VI') there was a statistically significant reduction of 8.4 percent in the rate of moderate or severe exacerbations versus those receiving their standard care.

For the intent to treat population, there were no differences observed between FF/VI and usual care on secondary outcomes measured, including the time to first moderate or severe exacerbation and rate of severe exacerbations, the rate of secondary care healthcare contacts and COPD related primary care contacts.

The COPD Assessment Test, which measures the impact of disease on health status, showed that 45 percent of patients receiving FF/VI improved their score by 2 or more, a clinically relevant improvement, compared to 36 percent in the usual care group.

The incidence of serious side effects was also found to be similar between the groups, with 29 percent for GSK's inhaler and 27 percent for usual care overall, and 7 percent versus 6 percent for pneumonia, respectively.

The one-year, open-label trial was carried out in a population of patients being treated for COPD at 75 general practices in the UK, and is attracting attention because of its real world relevance.

"The results from SLS provide robust evidence that will enable the healthcare community to begin to understand how the choice of COPD treatment can significantly influence patient outcomes," said Neil Barnes, Global Medical Head, Respiratory Franchise at GSK.

"We are continuing to analyse the data from the study as we know there is so much more we will learn and we look forward to sharing our findings in future publications."

Relvar Ellipta, which is sold Breo Ellipta in the US and is partnered with Theravance, was approved for the treatment of asthma and COPD in Europe in 2013.