Spanish pharmaceutical firm Almirall has appointed Quintiles to promote its respiratory portfolio in the UK.
The immediate focus of the deal will be on Almirall's new chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment Eklira Genuair (aclidinium), which was approved in Europe last week.
Quintiles will contribute primary care sales representatives to promote Eklira Genuair, while Almirall will provide secondary care market access resources.
Almirall UK's general manager Carlos Gallardo said: “We are proud to bring the first product in a truly innovative respiratory franchise to the UK market.
“Our long-term alignment with Quintiles will help us to ensure that new therapeutic options are made available for COPD patients throughout the UK."
Robert Taylor, managing director of UK Commercial Solutions for Quintiles, said: “This partnership allows our talented and engaged workforce to drive success across the life cycle of Almirall's respiratory products.
“We are excited to build upon our trusted relationship with Almirall by working to promote high potential compounds in the UK.”
The two companies also have another partnership deal that covers Germany, while in the Nordic countries, The Netherlands and Switzerland, Almirall will go it alone.
Elsewhere in Europe Almirall shares commercialisation rights to the treatment with Italian pharma company Menarini, who will promote it under the Bretaris Genuair brand.
Aclidinium was approved by the European Commission on July 24, 2012, following a positive CHMP opinion in May, as a maintenance bronchodilator treatment to relieve symptoms in adult patients with COPD.
Respiratory health is Almirall's lead therapy area and the pharma company hopes to use Eklira Genuair as a springboard to bring further COPD products to market.
The company has a number of combination products based on Eklira Genuair, a long-acting antimuscarinic (LAMA) that is delivered via a multi-dose inhaler, in late-stage development.
Almirall's respiratory franchise also includes an aclidinium plus formoterol combination, currently in phase III development and with topline results expected to be announced during 2013.
Announcing its financial results for the first half of 2012 Almirall said it expected Eklira Genuair to be launched in the US, Germany, the UK and some Nordic Countries before the end of the year.
Almirall's first half sales figures were down by 12 per cent to €374m, mainly due to health reforms in its home country and generic competition, while gross profit fell 14 per cent to €230.5m.