AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) has received a boost as US regulators accepted a supplemental application to its oncology drug Imfinzi, granting the treatment a priority review status. In a separate development, Credit Suisse hiked its rating and valuation on the shares yesterday, noting that the blue-chip pharmco was finally starting to get over the patent expiries of several of its top-selling drugs.
AstraZeneca’s share price has been little changed in today’s session, having added 0.08 percent to 5,159.00p as of 13:23 BST, slightly underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.26 percent higher at 7,546.65 points. The group’s shares have added more than three percent to their value over the past year, and are up by some 16 percent in the year-to-date.
AstraZeneca announced in a statement today that the US Food and Drug Administration had accepted a supplemental Biologics License Application for its drug durvalumab, marketed as Imfinzi, for the treatment of patients with locally advanced (Stage III) unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has not progressed following platinum-based chemoradiation therapy. The FDA further granted the treatment priority review status.
Imfinzi has already received accelerated approval in the US for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma.
The news is a boost for AstraZeneca, which is betting on oncology as one of its key areas to propel growth going forward.
Credit Suisse upbeat on pharmco
In other AstraZeneca news, Credit Suisse hiked its rating on the stock from ‘neutral,’ to ‘outperform,’ raising its price target from 4,800p to 5,800p, pointing to ‘marked improvement’ in the company’s strategic position in pricing power and replacement power following the recent pipeline success for its oncology treatments Tagrisso and Imfinzi.
“AstraZeneca will see a uniquely positioned lung cancer franchise increasingly contribute to the P&L,” the analysts said, as quoted by Proactive Investors. “This drives superior top line growth, adds margin leverage and increases pricing power.”