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Theravance Inc (THRX), GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (GSK): Which of These COPD Treatments Will Come Out on Top?

This combination treatment recently received a positive endorsement from the European Committee of Medicinal Products of Human Use. Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) is expected to pursue a filing with the FDA in the U.S. by the end of 2014, which means that it will arrive considerably later than current products from Theravance Inc (NASDAQ:THRX) and GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK).

In the long term, however, Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS)’ product could become a major threat, especially if the Ultibro Breezhaler is considered a better once-daily treatment than Breo/Revlar Ellipta.

The Foolish bottom line

Biotech investors should watch the COPD market carefully. Considering that the disease is forecast to continue to be the third leading cause of death worldwide for the next decade, demand for improved treatments will remain high.

Theravance Inc (NASDAQ:THRX) and GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) scored a major victory by bringing the first viable once-daily inhaled treatment to the market in May, but Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) is closing in fast. At the end of 2012, there were 54 different treatments being developed for COPD, with some major names like AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) working on new treatments.

Therefore, I believe that competition will heat up and COPD treatments will evolve and improve significantly over the next few years, to the benefit of patients and biotech investors alike.

Leo Sun has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

The article Which of These COPD Treatments Will Come Out on Top? originally appeared on

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