AstraZeneca share price: US regulator expands use of pharmco’s key oncology drug

on Aug 18, 2017
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the use of AstraZeneca’s (LON:AZN) oncology treatment Lynparza, the blue-chip pharma group has said. The news is a boost for the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker which counts on oncology as one of its key areas to help the company return to growth as it continues to suffer competition from cheaper generics on some of its top-selling treatments.

AstraZeneca’s share price has fallen into the red in today’s session, having given up 2.80 percent to 4,474.00p as of 08:43 BST, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.62 percent lower at 7,341.96 points. The group’s shares have lost just under 12 percent of their value over the past year, but are up by about 0.2 percent in the year-to-date.

AstraZeneca announced in a statement last night that the FDA had granted approval for the company’s olaparib drug, marketed as Lynparza and sold by the blue-chip pharmco and peer Merck, to include ongoing treatment of patients with recurrent ovarian cancer who have responded to platinum-based chemotherapy. The regulator further okayed a new two-tablet regimen for the drug, regardless of whether patients test positive for BRCA genetic mutations associated with high risk for the cancer.

“Physicians have almost three years of clinical experience with Lynparza on the market and we are now pleased to bring this important medicine, in a new tablet formulation, to a broader group of women,” AstraZeneca’s chief medical officer Sean Bohen commented in the statement.

The Telegraph noted in its coverage of the news that Baird Equity analyst Michael Ulz had said that the broader US approval made Lynparza more competitive with rival PARP inhibitor Zejula, sold by Tesaro.

The approval is a boost for AstraZeneca, which suffered a blow last month as the initial results from its highly-awaited oncology trial ‘breakthrough’ designation in the US, meaning faster regulatory approval for the treatment. 

As of 09:09 BST, Friday, 18 August, AstraZeneca plc share price is 4,443.00p.