Study finds GSK-Theravance lung drug didn't extend lives of patients with COPD, heart disease

A closely watched study of GlaxoSmithKline's Breo Ellipta respiratory treatment failed to prove that it extends patients' lives, denying the drugmaker a much-needed marketing edge in one of its key medicine categories.

It was a disappointing déjà vu for the British drugmaker, which previously failed to prove the same benefit for older respiratory treatment Advair.

GlaxoSmithKline has been trying to bolster revenue from its respiratory drug portfolio. Longtime blockbuster Advair has seen sales tumble as multiple brand-name rivals have forced price cuts, compounded by generic competition in several foreign countries.

GlaxoSmithKline and partner Theravance hoped their study, called SUMMIT, would show that Breo Ellipta reduced the risk of patients dying and rate of lung function decline. The study included high-risk patients with both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease.