Equities UK Pharmaceuticals & Health

GSK share price up as FDA okays self-administration of asthma therapy

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Shares in GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) have climbed higher in London in today’s session as US regulators approved two new ways of administering a treatment for severe asthma. The update follows the blue-chip group’s recent first-quarter results which revealed a rise in sales and earnings, as the company benefitted from strong demand for its vaccines and HIV treatments.

As of 09:45 BST, GSK’s share price had added 0.75 percent to 1,556.40p, outperforming the broader UK market, largely in line with gains in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.69 percent higher at 7,309.99 points. The pharmco’s shares have added more than two percent to their value over the  past year, as compared with about a five-percent drop in the Footsie.

Nucala approved for self-administration

GSK announced in a statement today that the US Food and Drug Administration had approved two new methods for administering its severe eosinophilic asthma treatment mepolizumab, marketed as Nucala. The methods include an autoinjector and a pre-filled safety syringe, for patients or caregivers to administer once every four weeks, after a healthcare professional decides it is appropriate. The approval gives patients and healthcare professionals the option to administer the treatment outside of a clinical setting. Nucala is currently available from doctors in a powder version.

“Nucala’s efficacy is well-established and this approval means that, for the first time, we are able to provide patients living with these debilitating conditions the option of receiving this important medicine in their own home,” Dr Hal Barron, GSK’s Chief Scientific Officer, commented in the statement.

Analysts on blue-chip drugmaker

UBS reaffirmed the blue-chip pharmco as ‘neutral’ this week, without specifying a target on the GSK share price. According to MarketBeat, the London-listed drugmaker currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average valuation of 1,526.14p.

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