GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance have commenced a Phase IIb study to evaluate the efficiency and safety of a new treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The firms’ first patient has started taking an investigational inhaled bifunctional compound GSK961081, which will soon be taken by another 356 patients.

The overall aim of this tudy is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the compound when administered once daily, QD and twice daily, BID, over a 28-day period.

Darrell Baker, GlaxoSmithKline senior vice-president of respiratory and immuno-inflammation, Medicines Development Centre, said: “We are excited with the progress that we are making with this molecule, which has the potential to be an important new treatment option for patients living with COPD.”