US regulators have approved AstraZeneca’s (LON:AZN) hairy cell leukaemia treatment Lumoxiti, the blue-chip drugmaker has said. The news marks a boost for the blue-chip drugmaker which has bet on oncology as one of its key therapy areas to propel growth going forward.
AstraZeneca’s share price has slipped marginally into the red in today’s session, having given up 0.09 percent to 5,625.00p as of 09:40 BST. The stock is marginally underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and currently standing 0.04 percent higher at 7,284.55 points.
FDA okays AstraZeneca drug
AstraZeneca announced in a statement today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved its Lumoxiti drug for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory hairy cell leukaemia (HCL) who have received at least two prior systemic therapies. HCL is a rare, chronic, and slow-growing leukaemia in which the bone marrow overproduces abnormal B cell lymphocytes.
“Today’s FDA approval of Lumoxiti represents a significant milestone for people living with hairy cell leukaemia,” Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice-President, Global Head Oncology Business Unit, said in the statement, adding that the approval provided “the first FDA-approved medicine for this condition in more than 20 years”.
The approval comes after last month, European regulators approved the group’s Bydureon BCise, a pre-filled pen device enabling patients with Type 2 Diabetes to medicate once a week.
Analysts on blue-chip pharmco
Shore Capital reaffirmed AstraZeneca as a ‘hold’ today, without specifying a price target on the shares, while BNP Paribas, which sees the company as a ‘buy,’ set a valuation on the stock of 6,500p earlier in the week. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip pharmco currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 5,760.47p.