(Reuters) - AstraZeneca (AZN.L) said an inhaler for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) delivered improved lung function in a late stage trial that could challenge GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK.L) new three-in-one inhaler.
The inhaler, PT010, showed "statistically significant" improvement in eight of nine main lung function goals in patients with moderate to very severe COPD, the company said on Friday.
AstraZeneca said patients in the trial were given two inhalations twice a day of PT010, which is a single inhaler, fixed-dose triple combination therapy.
There were no unexpected safety or tolerability signals for PT010 identified in the 24-week trial, it added.
GSK's Trelegy Ellipta was the first once-daily triple medicine for COPD to market, putting Britain's biggest drugmaker ahead of rivals such as AstraZeneca and Novartis (NOVN.S).
GSK's inhaler, which it developed with Innoviva (INVA.O), has already been approved for sale in the United States and Europe.
"GSK is already on the market with its Trelegy Ellipta product so is well ahead, nevertheless PT010 should still find a place in the market," Liberum analysts said in a client note, adding the inhaler was not a critical product for AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca said it anticipated making regulatory submissions in Japan and China in the second half of this year, followed by possibly submitting it in the United States and Europe next year.
AstraZeneca shares were up 0.5 percent at 0807 GMT.
(Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)