Novartis lung drug not inferior to GSK's Seretide, study shows

ZURICH Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:55am EDT

The logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis is seen at its headquarters in Basel October 22, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis is seen at its headquarters in Basel October 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

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ZURICH (Reuters) - Patients taking Novartis' inhaled medicine Onbrez Breezhaler for chronic lung disease had benefits similar to those taking GlaxoSmithKline's Seretide, the Swiss drugmaker said on Friday, citing a late stage study.

Also known as QVA149, Onbrez Breezhaler belongs to a new type of dual-action treatments that are expected by analysts to become major sellers.

The Phase IV study in patients with moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) found Novartis' once-daily drug showed similar benefits in reducing shortness of breath as GSK's Seretide, which must be taken twice daily.

Around 210 million people worldwide suffer from COPD, a disease that causes breathing trouble and chronic coughing, and is sometimes fatal.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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