GlaxoSmithKline‘s (NYSE:GSK) new chief executive, Emma Walmsley, signaled in April that she plans to cut programs in the company’s pharmaceutical pipeline that aren’t generating enough value, including older antibiotics.
“We’ll need to be switching off some areas,” Walmsley said, according to Reuters. She is slated to detail her plans this week when she presents second quarter financial results, the newswire reported.
Company insiders reportedly said that the CEO wants GSK to have fewer, but more revenue-generating, drug launches. That could mean out-licensing or cutting experimental therapies while boosting support for more promising fields.
The company has seen less-than-ideal product launches in recent years, including Tanzeum for Type II diabetes. The injection brought in disappointing sales, since GSK launched it after competitors, like Novo Nordisk, got their product to market.
The company has also had trouble in the clinic – a pill for heart disease failed in tests before even reaching the market.
GSK experienced a loss after it spent $3 billion to buy the firm that invented Benlysta, a lupus drug, which didn’t meet initial sales forecast. But today, the British drugmaker said it won FDA approval for a new, subcutaneous formulation for Benlysta – one that patients can inject themselves.
The regulatory win marks the first subcutaneous, self-injection treatment option for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, according to GSK.
“We are delighted with today’s decision. Lupus can impact the lives of patients in many different ways with varied and often unpredictable symptoms,” senior VP and head of specialty care, Vlad Hogenhuis, said in prepared remarks. “Since it launched in its IV form, thousands of patients worldwide have received treatment with Benlysta. The approval of the new injectable formulation will now provide an additional choice for patients, allowing them to self-administer their medicine at home rather than going to hospitals or clinics for their infusions.”
Material from Reuters was used in this report.