Glenmark, Forest drug trial for COPD fails

In a setback for it, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Swiss subsidiary, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (Switzerland), said its experimental treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in collaboration with Forest Laboratories did not show statistically meaningful results during a mid-stage clinical trial evaluation.

The announcement led Glenmark Pharmaceuticals' stock nosediving today by over 10 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange, a day after its US subsidiary Glenmark Generics Inc USA, faced a patent infringement lawsuit in the US court from Smithkline Beecham Corporation over its anti-malaria drug `Atovaquone' and `Proguanil Hydrochloride' tablets. (See: Glenmark faces GSK patent challenge in US over malaria drug) <>

On the steback ferom the failure of the COPD treatment, both Forest and Glenmark said late yesterday that they were disappointed that the top-line results from a Phase IIb - a study to determine the right dosage of the drug called Oglemilast to treat COPD has not been successful.

Oglemilast is currently in development for the treatment of COPD and asthma. The US-based pharmaceutical company, Forest Laboratories has licensed the US rights for Oglemilast from Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.

Currently, Pfizer's drug called Spiriva is the leading medication available in the market for the treatment of COPD, which has the potential to generate revenues of $4.85 billion-a-year by 2015 for the New York City-based pharmaceutical company.

COPD refers to chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a pair of commonly co-existing diseases leading to the narrowing of the lungs, leading to a limitation of airflow to and from the lungs, and shortness of breath. In contrast to asthma, the limitation of airflow is poorly reversible and usually gets progressively worse over time, sometimes leading to death.