AstraZeneca share price rises as oncology drug meets goal in late-stage trial

on Jul 18, 2016
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) has received a boost with the group’s lung cancer drug Tagrisso meeting its main goal in a late-stage trial. The drug is one of the treatments the Anglo-Swedish pharmco has bet on in an effort to counter a decline in sales of some of its flagship drugs which face competition from cheaper generics.

AstraZeneca’s share price has gained ground in today’s session, having added 0.60 percent to stand at 4,529.00p as of 14:28 BST. The shares are slightly outperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed 0.39 percent to 6,695.11 points. The group’s shares have gained just under five percent over the past year but have lost nearly two percent in the year-to-date.

AstraZeneca announced in a statement today that its lung cancer drug Tagrisso had demonstrated superior progression-free survival compared to standard platinum-based chemotherapy, with a safety profile consistent with previous trials, as second-line treatment, in a late-stage trial. Second-line treatments are used when initial, or first-line, therapies do not produce adequate results.
The company noted that it was committed to exploring the full potential of Tagrisso as monotherapy and in combination, for patients with lung cancer. The Anglo-Swedish group is further investigating the drug in non-small cell lung cancer patients with and without brain metastases, and has presented encouraging data in a small cohort of patients with leptomeningeal disease.
The Guardian quoted Shore Capital analyst Dr Tara Raveendran as commenting that Tagrisso and ovarian cancer treatment Lynparza formed “part of AstraZeneca’s latest growth platform ‘New Oncology’, which was announced in February 2016 and alongside the five other growth platforms are important in bridging the earnings gap as the company hopes pipeline assets will deliver and contribute more meaningfully to growth”.
As of 14:59 BST, Monday, 18 July, AstraZeneca plc share price is 4,528.50p.