AstraZeneca share price steady despite drug trial setback

Respiratory treatment Fasenra does not meet goal in COPD study

AstraZeneca share price steady despite drug trial setback

Shares in AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) have been steady in today’s session even as the company revealed that one of its respiratory treatments had failed in a late-stage trial for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The results mark a setback for the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker which has bet on respiratory treatments as one of its key areas to propel sales growth.

AstraZeneca’s share price has been steady in today’s session, having inched 0.25 percent higher to 5,415.60p as of 09:50 BST. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped marginally into the red and currently standing 0.06 percent lower at 7,628.12 points. The pharmco’s shares have added just under four percent to their value over the past year, as compared with an over one-percent rise in the Footsie.

Fasenra disappoints in trial

AstraZeneca announced in a statement this morning that the TERRANOVA, the second of two pivotal Phase III trials for its respiratory drug Fasenra in patients with moderate to very severe COPD had failed to meet the primary endpoint of a statistically-significant reduction of exacerbations. The statement follows the announcement earlier this month that the first pivotal late-stage trial, GALATHEA, did not meet its primary endpoint either.

Fasenra is AstraZeneca's first respiratory biologic and is currently approved as an add-on treatment for severe eosinophilic asthma in the US, EU, Japan and several other countries. 

Analysts on AstraZeneca

Liberum Capital reaffirmed the blue-chip pharmco as a ‘hold’ today, without specifying a price target on the shares, while earlier this week, JPMorgan Chase & Co, which sees the FTSE 100 group as a ‘buy,’ set a valuation of 5,800p on the stock. According to MarketBeat, the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 5,356.91p.

As of 10:13 BST, Wednesday, 30 May, AstraZeneca plc share price is 5,430.00p.

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