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Concept: GlaxoSmithKline


To reanalyse SmithKline Beecham’s Study 329 (published by Keller and colleagues in 2001), the primary objective of which was to compare the efficacy and safety of paroxetine and imipramine with placebo in the treatment of adolescents with unipolar major depression. The reanalysis under the restoring invisible and abandoned trials (RIAT) initiative was done to see whether access to and reanalysis of a full dataset from a randomised controlled trial would have clinically relevant implications for evidence based medicine.

Concepts: The Canon of Medicine, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Avicenna, Major depressive disorder, Paroxetine, GlaxoSmithKline, Beecham


BACKGROUND: To report the outcome of oral valacyclovir as the sole antiviral therapy for patients with acute retinal necrosis (ARN). METHODS: This study reports a retrospective, interventional case series of nine consecutive patients with ten eyes with newly diagnosed ARN treated with oral valacyclovir as the sole antiviral agent. Eight patients received oral valacyclovir 1 g tid (Valtrex, GlaxoSmithKline) and one patient with impaired renal function received oral 1 g tid. The main outcome measures were response to treatment, time to initial response to treatment, time to complete resolution of retinitis, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) at final follow-up, retinal detachment and development of recurrent or second eye disease. RESULTS: Retinitis resolved in ten of ten (100%) affected eyes. The median time to initial detectable response was seven days and the median time to complete resolution was 21 days. A final BCVA of 20/40 or better was achieved in 6/10 (60%) of eyes. 3/10 eyes (30%) developed a retinal detachment. No patients developed either disease reactivation or second eye involvement over the course of the study (mean follow up 31 weeks, range 7 to 104 weeks). CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with oral valacyclovir as the sole antiviral therapy resulted in complete resolution of retinitis. Final BCVA and retinal detachment rate were comparable with previously reported outcomes for intravenous acyclovir.

Concepts: Median, Retina, Eye, Visual acuity, Antivirals, Valaciclovir, Aciclovir, GlaxoSmithKline


Background The benefits of triple therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with an inhaled glucocorticoid, a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA), and a long-acting β2-agonist (LABA), as compared with dual therapy (either inhaled glucocorticoid-LABA or LAMA-LABA), are uncertain. Methods In this randomized trial involving 10,355 patients with COPD, we compared 52 weeks of a once-daily combination of fluticasone furoate (an inhaled glucocorticoid) at a dose of 100 μg, umeclidinium (a LAMA) at a dose of 62.5 μg, and vilanterol (a LABA) at a dose of 25 μg (triple therapy) with fluticasone furoate-vilanterol (at doses of 100 μg and 25 μg, respectively) and umeclidinium-vilanterol (at doses of 62.5 μg and 25 μg, respectively). Each regimen was administered in a single Ellipta inhaler. The primary outcome was the annual rate of moderate or severe COPD exacerbations during treatment. Results The rate of moderate or severe exacerbations in the triple-therapy group was 0.91 per year, as compared with 1.07 per year in the fluticasone furoate-vilanterol group (rate ratio with triple therapy, 0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80 to 0.90; 15% difference; P<0.001) and 1.21 per year in the umeclidinium-vilanterol group (rate ratio with triple therapy, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.81; 25% difference; P<0.001). The annual rate of severe exacerbations resulting in hospitalization in the triple-therapy group was 0.13, as compared with 0.19 in the umeclidinium-vilanterol group (rate ratio, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.56 to 0.78; 34% difference; P<0.001). There was a higher incidence of pneumonia in the inhaled-glucocorticoid groups than in the umeclidinium-vilanterol group, and the risk of clinician-diagnosed pneumonia was significantly higher with triple therapy than with umeclidinium-vilanterol, as assessed in a time-to-first-event analysis (hazard ratio, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.22 to 1.92; P<0.001). Conclusions Triple therapy with fluticasone furoate, umeclidinium, and vilanterol resulted in a lower rate of moderate or severe COPD exacerbations than fluticasone furoate-vilanterol or umeclidinium-vilanterol in this population. Triple therapy also resulted in a lower rate of hospitalization due to COPD than umeclidinium-vilanterol. (Funded by GlaxoSmithKline; IMPACT number, NCT02164513 .).

Concepts: Epidemiology, Pulmonology, Asthma, Pneumonia, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Emphysema, GlaxoSmithKline, Fluticasone


The pharmaceutical industry remains under huge pressure to address the high attrition rates in drug development. Attempts to reduce the number of efficacy- and safety-related failures by analysing possible links to the physicochemical properties of small-molecule drug candidates have been inconclusive because of the limited size of data sets from individual companies. Here, we describe the compilation and analysis of combined data on the attrition of drug candidates from AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly and Company, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. The analysis reaffirms that control of physicochemical properties during compound optimization is beneficial in identifying compounds of candidate drug quality and indicates for the first time a link between the physicochemical properties of compounds and clinical failure due to safety issues. The results also suggest that further control of physicochemical properties is unlikely to have a significant effect on attrition rates and that additional work is required to address safety-related failures. Further cross-company collaborations will be crucial to future progress in this area.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Pharmaceutical industry, Drug discovery, Drug development, Generic drug, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca


Rapidly spreading antibiotic resistance and the low discovery rate of new antimicrobial compounds demand more effective strategies for early drug discovery. One bottleneck in the drug discovery pipeline is the identification of the modes of action (MoAs) of new compounds. We have developed a rapid systematic metabolome profiling strategy to classify the MoAs of bioactive compounds. The method predicted MoA-specific metabolic responses in the nonpathogenic bacteriumMycobacterium smegmatisafter treatment with 62 reference compounds with known MoAs and different metabolic and nonmetabolic targets. We then analyzed a library of 212 new antimycobacterial compounds with unknown MoAs from a drug discovery effort by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). More than 70% of these new compounds induced metabolic responses inM. smegmatisindicative of known MoAs, seven of which were experimentally validated. Only 8% (16) of the compounds appeared to target unconventional cellular processes, illustrating the difficulty in discovering new antibiotics with different MoAs among compounds used as monotherapies. For six of the GSK compounds with potentially new MoAs, the metabolome profiles suggested their ability to interfere with trehalose and lipid metabolism. This was supported by whole-genome sequencing of spontaneous drug-resistant mutants of the pathogenMycobacterium tuberculosisand in vitro compound-proteome interaction analysis for one of these compounds. Our compendium of drug-metabolome profiles can be used to rapidly query the MoAs of uncharacterized antimicrobial compounds and should be a useful resource for the drug discovery community.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Bacteria, Metabolism, Antibiotic resistance, Antibiotic, Microorganism, Metabolomics, GlaxoSmithKline


Bladder cancer (BC) is a common malignancy that arises through occupational carcinogen exposure. Here we analyse trends in UK to better understand contemporary occupational BC.

Concepts: Cancer, United Kingdom, England, English language, Constitutional monarchy, Decolonization, GlaxoSmithKline, Harold Pinter


Onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis (LF) are major filarial infections targeted for elimination in most endemic sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries by 2020/2025. The current control strategies are built upon community-directed mass administration of ivermectin (CDTI) for onchocerciasis, and ivermectin plus albendazole for LF, with evidence pointing towards the potential for novel drug regimens. When distributing microfilaricides however, considerable care is needed to minimise the risk of severe adverse events (SAEs) in areas that are co-endemic for onchocerciasis or LF and loiasis. This work aims to combine previously published predictive risk maps for onchocerciasis, LF and loiasis to (i) explore the scale of spatial heterogeneity in co-distributions, (ii) delineate target populations for different treatment strategies, and (iii) quantify populations at risk of SAEs across the continent.

Concepts: Malaria, Africa, Filariasis, Neglected diseases, Ivermectin, Tropical diseases, GlaxoSmithKline, Loa loa filariasis


The Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) aims to eliminate the disease as a public health problem by 2020 by conducting mass drug administration (MDA) and controlling morbidity. Once elimination targets have been reached, surveillance is critical for ensuring that programmatic gains are sustained, and challenges include timely identification of residual areas of transmission. WHO guidelines encourage cost-efficient surveillance, such as integration with other population-based surveys. In American Samoa, where LF is caused by Wucheraria bancrofti, and Aedes polynesiensis is the main vector, the LF elimination program has made significant progress. Seven rounds of MDA (albendazole and diethycarbamazine) were completed from 2000 to 2006, and Transmission Assessment Surveys were passed in 2010/2011 and 2015. However, a seroprevalence study using an adult serum bank collected in 2010 detected two potential residual foci of transmission, with Og4C3 antigen (Ag) prevalence of 30.8% and 15.6%. We conducted a follow up study in 2014 to verify if transmission was truly occurring by comparing seroprevalence between residents of suspected hotspots and residents of other villages. In adults from non-hotspot villages (N = 602), seroprevalence of Ag (ICT or Og4C3), Bm14 antibody (Ab) and Wb123 Ab were 1.2% (95% CI 0.6-2.6%), 9.6% (95% CI 7.5%-12.3%), and 10.5% (95% CI 7.6-14.3%), respectively. Comparatively, adult residents of Fagali'i (N = 38) had significantly higher seroprevalence of Ag (26.9%, 95% CI 17.3-39.4%), Bm14 Ab (43.4%, 95% CI 32.4-55.0%), and Wb123 Ab 55.2% (95% CI 39.6-69.8%). Adult residents of Ili'ili/Vaitogi/Futiga (N = 113) also had higher prevalence of Ag and Ab, but differences were not statistically significant. The presence of transmission was demonstrated by 1.1% Ag prevalence (95% CI 0.2% to 3.1%) in 283 children aged 7-13 years who lived in one of the suspected hotspots; and microfilaraemia in four individuals, all of whom lived in the suspected hotspots, including a 9 year old child. Our results provide field evidence that integrating LF surveillance with other surveys is effective and feasible for identifying potential hotspots, and conducting surveillance at worksites provides an efficient method of sampling large populations of adults.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Malaria, Statistical significance, Filariasis, Adult, American Samoa, Samoa, GlaxoSmithKline


Following the World Health Assembly resolution on Elimination of lymphatic filariasis (ELF) as a public health problem by the year 2020, a Global Program (GPELF) was launched in 1997 to help endemic countries to initiate national programs. The current strategy to interrupt transmission of LF, is administration of once-yearly, single-dose, two-drug regimen (Albendazole with Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) to be used in endemic areas with the goal of reaching 65% epidemiological coverage for 4-6 years. We report findings of independent assessment from year 2010 to 2015 for last six rounds, after initial five rounds of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) since 2005 for ELF in endemic area of Gujarat.

Concepts: Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Malaria, World Health Organization, Diethylcarbamazine, Filariasis, GlaxoSmithKline


BACKGROUND: Fluticasone furoate (FF)/vilanterol (VI) is a novel once-daily inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting β(2)-agonist combination therapy for COPD. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of two strengths of FF/VI (100/25 μg; 50/25 μg) vs. individual components (FF 100 μg, VI 25 μg) and placebo over 24 weeks. METHODS: Multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group study of patients (N = 1030) with moderate-to-severe COPD. All medication was administered once daily in the morning. Co-primary efficacy endpoints were: (1) weighted mean (wm) FEV(1) (0-4 h post-dose on day 168) to assess acute lung function effects; and (2) trough FEV(1) (23-24 h post-dose on day 169) to assess long-lasting effects. Symptom-related outcomes were analysed and adverse events (AEs) assessed. RESULTS: Main findings were: (1) the combination of FF/VI at a strength of 100/25 μg significantly (p < 0.001) improved wm FEV(1) (173 ml) and trough FEV(1) (115 ml) vs. placebo. Similar effects were observed with FF/VI 50/25 μg; (2) no significant difference was seen between FF/VI 100/25 μg and VI 25 μg for trough FEV(1) (48 ml, p = 0.082), while an effect was observed between FF/VI 100/25 μg and FF 100 μg for wm FEV(1) (120 ml, p < 0.001); (3) VI 25 μg over 24 weeks improved lung function vs. placebo significantly for wm FEV(1) (103 ml, p < 0.001) and trough FEV(1) (67 ml, p = 0.017); and (4) no safety signal was observed. CONCLUSIONS: In subjects with moderate-to-severe COPD, FF/VI 100/25 μg provides rapid and significant sustained bronchodilation at 24 weeks. Lung function is improved to a similar extent with FF/VI 50/25 μg and to a somewhat lesser extent with VI 25 μg. All treatments were well tolerated. GSK study number: HZC112206. NCT01053988.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Pulmonology, Asthma, Randomized controlled trial, Statistical significance, Effectiveness, Weighted mean, GlaxoSmithKline