AstraZeneca’s (LON:AZN) oncology treatments Imfinzi and Lynparza have won approvals in Japan, the blue-chip pharmco has said. The news comes after the company and partner Merck & Co posted upbeat results from a late-stage trial for first-line use of Lynparza last week.
AstraZeneca’s share price has been subdued in London this morning, having given up 0.86 percent to 5,208.00p as of 08:52 BST. The stock is marginally outperforming the broader market selloff with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently trading 0.93 percent in the red at 7,566.23 points. The group’s shares have added more than one percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 3.5 percent gain in the Footsie.
Imfinzi and Lynparza approved in Japan
AstraZeneca announced in a statement today that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare had approved its drug durvalumab, marketed as Imfinzi, as maintenance therapy after definitive chemoradiation therapy, in locally-advanced, unresectable non-small cell lung cancer.
The group and its partner Merck & Co said in a separate statement that Japan had also okayed Lynparza (olaparib) tablets for use in patients with unresectable or recurrent BRCA-mutateduman epidermal growth factor receptor negative breast cancer who have received prior chemotherapy. Lynparza is also approved in the country as maintenance treatment for women with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer, regardless of BRCA mutation status.
The approvals mark a boost for AstraZeneca which is counting on oncology one of its key therapy areas to propel growth going forward, and offset a decline in sales of some of its older drugs which are facing competition from cheaper generics.
Analysts on Anglo-Swedish drugmaker
UBS reaffirmed AstraZeneca as a ‘neutral’ today, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip pharmco currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 5,429.64p.