AstraZeneca expects a $100 million drop in Q4 profits following discontinuation of Epanova drug

AstraZeneca expects a $100 million drop in Q4 profits following discontinuation of Epanova drug
Written by:
Michael Harris
14th January, 14:56
Updated: 11th March, 09:09
  • AstraZeneca announces to discontinue Epanova drug in late-stage trials.
  • AstraZeneca expected to take a hit worth $100 million in annual profits.
  • Epanova had a low probability of being helpful against mixed dyslipidemia.
  • Astrazeneca acquired U.S based Omthera Pharmaceuticals in 2013.
  • AstraZeneca is currently working with Merck for the development of the Lynparza drug.
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On Monday, AstraZeneca, a biopharmaceutical company devoted to research and development of innovative drugs, revealed that it will soon discontinue Epanova, a heart disease drug to be used by people suffering from mixed dyslipidemia. The testing for the drug will be halted in its late-stage trial resulting in a drop of around $100 million in profits for the fourth quarter.

Following recommendations made by an independent company monitoring the progress of the trials, the largest Britain’s drugmaker by market value, decided to discontinue the drug. The company believed that Epanova had a low probability of being helpful for people with mixed dyslipidemia.

Executive Vice President Says AstraZeneca Is Adamant To Help Patients With Cardiovascular Diseases

The executive vice president in charge of research and development at AstraZeneca, Mene Pangalos, stated that the Epanova trial certainly was a disappointment for the company. However, AstraZeneca is adamant in its pursuit of developing drugs that will help patients struggling with cardiovascular diseases. 

Mixed dyslipidemia is characterized by an unusually higher levels of fats or cholesterol (triglycerides) that puts the patient at a greater risk of heart disease. AstraZeneca’s Epanova drug, therefore, was directed at keeping the triglycerides levels within the normal range in the patients. The drug had already received approval for administration in the United States of America.

Research into Epanova started in 2013 following AstraZeneca’s acquisition of the U.S based Omthera Pharmaceuticals that was directed at penetrating the cardiovascular drugs market.

AstraZeneca’s Performance In The Stock Market In 2019

Following the drug maker’s announcement of discontinuing Epanova, the shares prices were seen trading 0.5% lower. Nonetheless, the overall performance for the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company was largely positive in the stock market in 2019. The stock closed the last year at around $7,600 that marked an almost 40% annual increase for the company. AstraZeneca had recorded a record high of around $7,800 towards the end of 2019. As of writing, the stock is exchanging hands at $7,648.

In separate news, AstraZeneca is currently working with Merck for the development of the Lynparza drug that is applicable to patients with Ovarian cancer. In combination with another drug, bevacizumab, the Lynparza currently holds a status of “priority review” in the United States of America. As per the sources, the final verdict regarding the drug’s approval is expected in 2020’s second quarter.

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