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AstraZeneca share price: Group’s diabetes drug found to cut death rates

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AstraZeneca’s (LON:AZN) drug dapagliflozin reduces the chance of both hospitalisation from heart failure and death for sufferers from type-2 diabetes, a major trial has found. The results are a boost for the blue-chip pharmco, which has been looking to return to growth.

AstraZeneca’s share price, however, has fallen into the red in London this morning, having shed 0.54 percent to 4,870.50p as of 09:59 GMT, slightly underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which is currently 0.28 percent worse off at 7,404.51 points. The group’s shares have gained more than 25 percent over the past year, and are up by just under 10 percent in the year-to-date.
AstraZeneca announced in a statement yesterday that the world’s first global ‘real world’ trial of its kind had showed that treatment with SGLT-2i medicines, which include the group’s dapagliflozin, reduced all-cause mortality by 51 percent and risk of hospitalisation for heart failure by 39 percent in patients with with type-2 diabetes. The trial assessed data from more than 300,000 patients across six countries, 87 percent of whom did not have a history of cardiovascular disease.

The company, however, notes that people with type-2 diabetes have a two to three times greater risk of heart failure and are more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke, and that some 50 percent of deaths in people with the disease are caused by cardiovascular disease.
The results mark a boost for AstraZeneca, which has bet on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases as one of several key areas to help the company return to growth. The Financial Times noted in its coverage of the news that Berenberg forecasts mid-single digit growth at the group’s US diabetes unit, with the help of products such as dapagliflozin.
As of 10:38 GMT, Monday, 20 March, AstraZeneca plc share price is 4,879.00p.

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