Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, August 14

GSK's Breo Ellipta
GSK's Breo Ellipta

GlaxoSmithKline is expected to release data from a trial studying whether its inhaled respiratory treatment, Breo Ellipta, extends the lives of patients with chronic lung disease, according to Reuters. If the trial is successful, it may help the company revive its flagging respiratory business. The FDA approved Breo for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2013 and for asthma in April.


Researchers at Stanford University created strains of yeast that can produce narcotic drugs, a discovery that may lessen industry demand for opium poppies that are used to develop painkillers and cough suppressants, The New York Times reported. Creating the chemicals should lower costs and make production more predictable. It may also spur interest among drug traffickers.


Wolters Kluwer said it acquired Learner's Digests Health, a provider of continuing medical education to physicians, for $150 million. Private-equity firm Vesey Street Capital Partners last month acquired Imedex, a continuing medical-education company owned by AmerisourceBergen.


Pharma companies may be relying on future growth in developing countries like China, Brazil and India but those nations tend to rely on low-cost generic drugs, which may make growth in those markets a challenge, Fortune reported. The magazine described the countries as “pharmerging” regions, developing countries where use of prescription drugs is growing rapidly.


Avalanche Biotechnologies said it does not plan to start a second mid-stage study for an experimental drug when used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, according to Reuters. Patients who were treated with Roche's Lucentis or Regeneron's Eylea reported greater vision improvement in prior trials.