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AstraZeneca share price: Oncology treatment hits second goal in late-stage trial

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AstraZeneca’s (LON:AZN) oncology treatment Imfinzi has hit the second goal in a late-stage by improving overall survival in lung cancer patients, the blue-chip drugmaker has said. The news marks a boost for the Anglo-Swedish group which has bet on oncology as one of its key therapy areas to propel the company back to sales growth.

AstraZeneca’s share price has been steady in London in today’s session, having added 0.26 percent to 5,442.00p as of 13:28 BST. The stock is marginally outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.09 percent higher at 7,723.52 points.

Imfinzi hits study target

AstraZeneca announced in a statement today that its therapy Imfinzi had med the second primary endpoint in a late-stage trial, improving overall survival in patients with unresectable Stage III non-small cell lung cancer whose disease had not progressed following platinum-based chemotherapy concurrent with radiation therapy.

“We look forward to sharing these results with Health Authorities to support ongoing regulatory interactions and to update the Imfinzi label with these important data,” the pharmco’s chief medical officer Sean Bohen said in the statement.

Reuters quoted Berenberg analyst as saying in a note that consensus has peak Imfinzi sales at $2.8 billion by 2023 and the achievement of an overall survival benefit may not result in much of a change in sales expectations.

“Nevertheless […] the OS data will help Astra in its physician education and ensure the peak sales can be achieved,” the broker added.

Analysts on pharmco

Jefferies reaffirmed its ‘buy’ rating on AstraZeneca today, with a price target of 5,950p on the shares, while Shore Capital continues to see the company as a ‘hold,’ valuing the stock at 5,428p. According to MarketBeat, the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 5,343.27p.

As of 13:59 BST, Friday, 25 May, AstraZeneca plc share price is 5,448.00p.

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