HealthPharma & Biotech

AstraZeneca in cancer drug setback

The phase III trial involved patients with very late stage lung cancer where the disease had spread to other organs - in other words, the group was hard to treat

x-ray of a lung
It should be noted that Imfinzi is approved in more than 40 countries for patients with inoperable stage III lung cancer

AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) said its drug Imfinzi was no better than chemotherapy in treating patients with non-small cell lung cancer which has spread to other organs.

The medication was used on its own and in combination with tremelimumab, an antibody treatment, in patients with stage-IV cancer.

READ: AstraZeneca sells off US rights to children’s lung disease treatment for up to US$2bn

The phase III clinical trial showed there was no statistical advantage to using the new drug.

 "We are encouraged to see that Imfinzi monotherapy activity is in-line with that of the anti-PD-1 class in previously-untreated patients with Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer; however, we are disappointed that these results missed statistical significance,” said AZ chief medical officer Sean Bohen.

“We remain confident in Imfinzi as the cornerstone of our IO [immuno-oncology] programme and continue to evaluate its potential in ongoing non-small cell lung cancer trials, including Imfinzi and Imfinzi plus tremelimumab in combination with chemotherapy."

It should be noted that Imfinzi is approved in more than 40 countries for patients with inoperable stage III lung cancer.

The latest trial was part of a batch of studies to assess just which forms of the disease the new drug is capable of treating.

Quick facts: AstraZeneca

Price: £68.91

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £90.4 billion

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