Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, following its expected launch this year for the treatment of asthma, Merck's formoterol/mometasone will garner peak year sales of more than $250 million in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The Pharmacor 2010 finding from the topic entitled Asthma reveals that formoterol/mometasone, a twice-daily long acting beta2 agonist (LABA)/inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) combination, will launch in 2010 in the U.S. and in Europe as a maintenance treatment for asthma in patients 12 years of age or older. Although formoterol/fluticasone, another emerging twice-daily LABA/ICS combination, was expected to launch in 2010 in the U.S., SkyePharma recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has requested further clinical trial data for the combination, most notably with regard to its dosing. As a result, the previously expected 2010 U.S. launch date of formoterol/fluticasone will be delayed until 2012.

"Both emerging agents from Merck and SkyePharma will face strong competition from well-established, currently available LABA/ICS combinations which are widely prescribed for asthma treatment," said Decision Resources Analyst Martin Quinn.

AstraZeneca's Symbicort (formoterol/budesonide) as well as salmeterol/fluticasone (GlaxoSmithKline's Advair/Seretide, GlaxoSmithKline/Mitsubishi Tanabe's Adoair) are the most notable LABA/ICS combinations that formoterol/mometasone and formoterol/fluticasone will compete with, following their launches. Symbicort, which has been available in the U.S. and in Europe for several years, was also recently approved in Japan for the maintenance treatment of bronchial asthma in patients aged 16 and older. Under the terms of an agreement reached last year, AstraZeneca and Astellas will co-promote Symbicort in the Japanese market.

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