GlaxoSmithKline and its partner Theravance announced this week that Breo Ellipta, a medicine for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is now available to U.S. pharmacies.
Breo is currently made in the United Kingdom, but GSK expects to begin manufacturing the medicine at its Zebulon facility by the end of 2015. GSK also makes the respiratory treatment Advair in Zebulon, where it employs about 600 people.
GSK employs 4,000 at its North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park, which is home to many of the company’s workers who focus on respiratory products.
Under the terms of GSK’s 2002 agreement with Theravance, GSK is in line to receive a $30 million milestone payment following the launch of Breo in the U.S.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug in May.
The drug is a once-daily maintenance treatment for patients with COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.