To reinflate lung portfolio, Glaxo needs Breo to shine where Advair failed
- GlaxoSmithKline will soon be releasing the results of a massive clinical trial for its COPD and asthma medication Breo.
- The stakes are big: Glaxo hopes that the 16,500-person SUMMIT study will demonstrate that Breo (which has not exactly been a commercial rock star so far) produces not only improved lung function, but also shows an overall survival benefit in COPD patients with heart issues. Existing steroid-LABA COPD meds (including GSK's older flagship Advair) have failed to show significant survival improvements.
- COPD is the third leading cause of death in America.
That's why the SUMMIT study is so important. As one of the trial overseers pointed out to Reuters, 50% to 70% of COPD patients also have cardiovascular risk factors. So if Breo can show a distinct survival benefit in this patient pool (including with patients with less severe forms of COPD who also have CVD risks), it would likely make a big impression with doctors who want to manage their patients' disease.
Analysts have been a bit scattered on how high Breo sales can go, with many saying that somewhere in the range of $1.5 billion by 2020 is possible. However, depending on just how convincing the SUMMIT study results are, that number could rise significantly.