gsk

As GlaxoSmithKline’s share of the global Advair market slowly slips away, the company reported a couple of bright spots this week, namely growth of its Shingrix meningitis vaccine and consumer healthcare unit. 

Generics firm Mylan retains 22% of the global market for respiratory drug Advair, up from the 20% share seen in mid-May, weekly prescription trends show. The brand’s share, though, fell slightly, to 45% from 46% the week prior, according to a Friday investor note from SVB Leerink, citing IQVIA script data as of the week ended July 19. 

For GSK, it was a familiar refrain, as its one-time cashcow deals with a slow burn from the patent cliff, and uptake is spotty for its newer Ellipta respiratory meds. But the company’s second-quarter earnings report brought good news, showing other drugs stepping in to help offset the loss. 

Sales of Shingrix, a shot for the shingles virus, increased by 131% to £386 million ($482 million) last quarter, the firm said, beating analysts’ estimate of £366 million, and the company reported securing an approval for the vaccine in China. Overall vaccine sales rose 26% to £1.6 billion, also ahead of consensus,.

The consumer healthcare unit was another bright spot, as revenue grew 27% to £1.9 billion ($2.3 billion), just beating analyst consensus. The improvement was mainly driven by US sales, which rose from $535 million to $594 million. 

As for its respiratory franchise, buoyed by new Ellipta meds like Trelegy, that part of the portfolio rose 16% to £752 million ($931 million), although Incrus Ellipta’s and Revlar Ellipta’s sales both fell during the quarter. 

Meanwhile, the Advair story continued to play out in the second-quarter as global sales dipped 30%, to £412 million ($510 million). The decline was even more precipitous in the U.S., where the brand’s turnover tumbled 60% throughout the quarter, to $131 million, as a result of generic competition.

Mylan’s share of the market for Advair generics has been increasing slowly since it launched its copy, Wixela Inhub, earlier this year, noted analysts from SVB Leerink. Prasco’s authorized generic, Advair Diskus AG, and Teva’s Airduo Respiclick are also vying for sales and hold smaller portions.

Sales of GSK’s HIV drugs rose just 2%, to £1.2 billion, but the gains among the other portfolios combined to prop up GSK’s top-line revenue. Pharmaceutical sales rose 2% to £4.3 billion ($5.3 billion), edging out the company’s own forecast of £4.2 billion.

The drug maker also managed to move forward a set of launches and approvals for new products. Trelegy Ellipta, a daily inhaler for patients with COPD, launched in 36 countries, including Japan, and is preparing for a launch in China in the fourth quarter. 

Zejula, the on-market PARP inhibitor for ovarian cancer which came to GSK in its $5.1 billion takeover of Tesaro, is now approved in six countries, GSK said. It was launched in the U.S., Germany, U.K. and Italy, and has been filed in China. And two-drug HIV regimen Dovato received E.U. approval. 

Separately, when asked for her take on the drug-pricing package that advanced beyond the floor of the Senate yesterday, GSK CEO Emma Walmsley reiterated her support for rebate reform and “things that reduce the out-of-pocket cost for as many patients as possible.”

She added: “We are supportive of principals that incentivize responsible pricing and, most fundamentally, that incentivize ongoing innovation and access to that innovation for the patients.”