The latest medicament from GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) and Theravance (UNKNOWN:THRX.DL) is about to hit pharmacy shelves in Japan. The latter announced in an SEC filing that the two companies' Relvar Ellipta treatment has been launched in that country, less than two months after it won approval by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Theravance is now obligated to make a milestone payment of $10 million to GlaxoSmithKline contingent upon the launch.

Relvar Ellipta is used to treat asthma in patients 12 and older. It also combats chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (known better as COPD) in adults. It is taken once per day in the form of a dry powder inhaler.

The news comes several weeks after the two firms announced that Relvar Ellipta had been granted marketing authorization in 31 European countries.

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