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GlaxoSmithKline edges higher as Zejula passes late-stage ovarian cancer study with flying colours

Zejula demonstrated a “statistically significant” improvement in progression free survival – the length of time a patient lives with the disease but it doesn’t get worse

ovarian cancer
Zejula was able to work in all patients, regardless of biomarker status

Shares in GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK) edged higher on Monday after the drugs giant’s Zejula ovarian cancer treatment passed through a late-stage study with flying colours.

When given to women who had undergone traditional chemotherapy, Zejula demonstrated a “statistically significant” improvement in progression free survival – the length of time a patient lives with the disease but it doesn’t get worse.

READ: Morgan Stanley doesn’t think there’s much money to be made investing in GSK

Importantly, the drug worked in all patients regardless of their biomarker status, widening the population it can treat.

 The full set of results will be released at an upcoming scientific meeting, GSK said.

“Almost 300,000 women around the world are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, yet only about 15% of patients are currently eligible to receive PARP inhibitors as their initial therapy,” said chief scientific officer Hal Barron.

“These exciting data demonstrate that Zejula has the potential to significantly benefit even more women with this devastating cancer.”

New chairman appointment ‘soon’

In other news, GSK is reportedly set to appoint Jonathan Symonds as its new chairman.

Symonds, the former finance boss of GSK’s rivals AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) and Novartis, is set to be unveiled “in the coming weeks”, according to Sky News.

Should the veteran get the gig, it would end a seven-month search for Sir Philip Hampton’s successor.

GSK is preparing to demerge its consumer division into a joint venture with Pfizer, following years of pressure from the City to break up the company.

Shares were up 0.3% to 1,628.2p.

Quick facts: GlaxoSmithKline PLC

Price: 1666.2 GBX

LSE:GSK
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £83.65 billion
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