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GSK increases Theravance investment

GlaxoSmithKline has said that it will purchase 5.75m shares of common stock in Theravance, its partner in ongoing drug-development efforts

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced that it will increase its holdings in Theravance, its partner in an ongoing respiratory drug-development effort, with a purchase of 5.75m shares of common stock in a private placement.

GSK will pay $22.50 per share, for a total investment of about $129.4m. After the purchase, GSK will own about 19 per cent of Theravance's outstanding capital stock, or approximately 15m shares.

GSK said the purchase reflects confidence in the respiratory drug candidates developed through the companies' collaboration, which began in late 2002. The centrepiece of the partnership is a phase III product for asthma called Relovair (fluticasone furoate/vilanterol trifenatate), which is a potential once-daily therapy combining a long-acting beta2 agonist with an inhaled corticosteroid.

The companies' relationship was further extended in 2004 through a strategic alliance under which GSK received an option to license exclusive development and commercialisation rights to product candidates from all Theravance drug-discovery programs begun before September 2007, with GSK responsible for funding all future development, manufacturing and commercialisation activities for the product candidates.

GSK has licensed a COPD drug under the deal that is currently in phase II development.

Theravance also has a partnership with Astellas Pharma under which it developed its only marketed product thus far, an injectable antibiotic called Vibativ (telavancin) that was approved last year by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adult patients with complicated skin and skin structure infections.

29th November 2010


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