GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance are seeking approval in the US to market their COPD inhaler Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate/vilanterol) for patients with asthma as well.

The drugmakers said they have filed a supplemental New Drug Application with the FDA for the inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting beta2 agonist as a treatment for asthma in patients aged 12 years and over.

Despite medical advances, more than half of patients with asthma continue to experience poor control and significant symptoms, and the firms will be hoping that their product will help address some of this unmet need, while giving sales a nice little boost at the same time.

US officials issued Breo Ellipta with a green light in May last year for the long-term, once-daily, maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction and for reducing exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema, while in Europe it has been approved (as Relvar Ellipta) for both asthma and COPD.

GSK/Save the Children award

In other news at GSK, the drug giant and partner Save the Children launched their second annual $1 million Healthcare Innovation Award at the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health meeting in South Africa. 

The award was set up to identify and reward innovations in healthcare that have proven successful in reducing child deaths in developing countries.

Every year 6.2 million children worldwide are still dying before their fifth birthday, and GSK and Save the Children’s ambitious partnership - announced in May last year - aims to save the lives of  one million children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.