June 16, 2024

View of GlaxoSmithKline headquarters in London

GSK generated 30 billion pounds ($38 billion) in total sales in 2023.
Image: Hannah McKay (Reuters)

People suffering from a severe form of asthma could soon see their symptoms improve with a new medication that only needs to be administered twice a year.

Pharma giant GSK announced positive results on Tuesday of phase-3 clinical trials (SWIFT-1 and SWIFT-2) for its ultra-long-acting biologic treatment for severe asthma. Trial results showed that the long-acting drug, depemokimab, helped reduced attacks for patients with eosinophilic asthma, a form of the disease characterized by high levels of white blood cells called eosinophils.

The news comes as GSK is working on building out its respiratory portfolio. Last year, the London-based company launched the first ever RSV vaccine, Arexvy. In 2023, the drug generated 1.2 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) in revenue. Earlier this year, GSK acquired the asthma drug company Aiolos Bio in a $1.4 billion deal.

GSK said today that eosinophilic asthma patients who were taking depemokimab saw clinically significant reduction asthma attacks over the 52 weeks that they were on the medication.

The company plans to submit depemokimab for regulatory approval in the United States in the second half of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported. GSK has previously said the drug could reach annual sales of 3 billion pounds ($3.8 billion).

Depemokimab is one of 12 drugs GSK plans to launch starting in 2025 as it braces for the patent expiration of its blockbuster HIV drug, dolutegravir, later this decade. The company expects to lose exclusivity for the drug, which generated 5.4 billion pounds ($6.8 billion) in revenue in 2023, in both the U.S. and EU sometime between 2028 and 2030.

With these new launches, GSK hopes to reach sales of 38 billion pounds in ($48 billion) by 2031, compared with the 30 billion pounds ($38 billion) the company generated in 2023.

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