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Good News for Theravance

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Theravance, Inc. recently announced that it has reintroduced its injectable antibiotic Vibativ (telavancin) in U.S. markets. Vibativ is approved for treating adults suffering from complicated skin and skin structure infections, resulting from susceptible gram-positive bacteria, including both methicillin-resistant and methicillin-susceptible strains of staphylococcus aureus.

We note that the drug is also approved for treating adults suffering from hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia when other alternatives are not available. We note that Theravance’s deal with Astellas Pharma regarding Vibativ was terminated by the latter in Jan 2012. Following the termination of the deal, supplies of Vibativ were hit badly, leading to the suspension of commercialization of the antibiotic. To resolve the situation, Theravance inked a supply deal for Vibativ with Hospira, Inc. . In Jun 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Hospira as a manufacturer of Vibativ.

With Vibativ supplies being restored, Theravance resumed shipping the drug into the U.S. wholesaler channel. The reintroduction of Vibativ in the U.S. is very encouraging for Theravance as the resumption of sales would bring in additional revenues to the company.

We are also positive on Theravance’s partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Free Report) . In May 2013, Theravance received a boost when the FDA approved Breo Ellipta, also co-developed with Glaxo, as a long-term maintenance therapy of airflow obstruction and for bringing down exacerbations in patients suffering from COPD. Breo Ellipta is expected to be available from the third/fourth quarter of 2013. Another COPD candidate, developed under this partnership, is Anoro Ellipta. The candidate is under review in the U.S. (target date: Dec 18, 2013).

Theravance carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Hospira appears to be more attractive with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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