GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance have published Phase III data showing that their COPD therapy Incruse Ellipta (umeclidinium, UMEC) improved lung function in patients also taking Relvar/Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate/vilanterol, FF/VI).

The companies said that by Day 85, the addition of the anticholinergic (and long-acting muscarinic antagonist or LAMA) UMEC to the inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting beta2-agonist combination FF/VI resulted in a statistically significant improvement in lung function compared with FF/VI plus placebo in patients with COPD.

GSK said the two studies are the first to investigate the combined effect of two of the newest medicines in its respiratory portfolio, both of which provide 24 hour efficacy. 

"We will continue to progress our research to expand our understanding of how the combined use of these medicines may provide physicians with another treatment approach to meet the individual needs of their patients," noted Darrell Baker, head of the global respiratory franchise, GSK.

In the US, Incruse Ellipta is approved for the long-term once-daily maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD, including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema, while its current EU license is as a maintenance bronchodilator treatment to relieve symptoms in adult patients with COPD.