21st Nov 2023 11:52
(Alliance News) - GSK PLC on Tuesday said it will begin phase 3 trials of a low carbon version of its metered dose inhaler Ventolin using a "next generation" propellant in 2024.
If successful, the Brentford, West London-based pharmaceutical maker said it has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from use of the inhaler by around 90%.
This would "significantly" contribute to GSK's net-zero climate targets, the company said.
GSK noted that 35 million patients with respiratory conditions use this inhaler around the world, but currently also accounting for 49% of GSK's carbon footprint. This is alongside contributing to the carbon footprint of global health systems, GSK said.
GSK is investing in a research and development programme to redevelop the inhaler by transitioning to a lower carbon propellant, which has been under technical development for "several" years.
GSK said the propellants has been tested "extensively" to ensure suitability for metered dose inhalers and patient use, with recent data from early clinical trials supporting its decision to progress to phase 3 testing.
Dosing of first patients under the phase 3 trial is planned for the first half of 2024. If successful, GSK said regulatory submissions will begin in 2025.
"As countries work to decarbonise their health systems, companies have an important role to play – and addressing the carbon emissions from inhalers is a key part of this..if successful, this could lead to regulatory submissions in 2025, supporting the health of asthma and [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] patients and making a significant positive impact on our transition to a more environmentally sustainable future," said Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley.
"The development of this low carbon inhaler is complex and involves clinical and non-clinical programmes, as well as establishing new manufacturing facilities. We recently confirmed our plan to invest in our Evreux site to manufacture the inhaler, so that we are ready to start supply quickly, should clinical trials and regulatory processes be successful. Evreux is a key GSK site in France – it is driving sustainability as part of the site strategy and has strong expertise in respiratory inhaler manufacturing."
Shares in GSK were down 0.2% to 1,404.80 pence each in London on Tuesday late morning.
By Greg Rosenvinge, Alliance News senior reporter
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