The stock added 2.5% in early deals to trade at 7,500p, valuing the FTSE 100 company at just shy of £100bn.
Back in February, Astra reported positive results from a huge trial of its Brilinta drug in people with coronary artery disease and type-2 diabetes.
The data showed that the drug, when taken alongside aspirin, could achieve a “statistically significant” reduction in the number of major adverse cardiovascular events compared to aspirin alone.
Astra has now put a figure on that reduction, claiming that the Brilinita-aspirin combination reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 10%.
On top of that, researchers, having had more time to go through the results, found that the combo was even more effective (15% risk reduction) in people who had previously undergone a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) – a procedure to open a blocked or narrowed coronary artery
“These positive results show that Brilinta reduced the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with coronary artery disease and type-2 diabetes, and we hope this will make a difference because their risk of heart attack or stroke is almost twice as high as it is among diabetes patients without cardiovascular disease,” said Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D.
“Also, for the first time, these new data identified an easily-recognisable sub-group of stable patients who may benefit most from Brilinta - those with type-2 diabetes who have undergone PCI.”
Farxiga reduces chance of heart failure by 26%
As for the other trial, that concerns Farxiga, AstraZeneca’s blockbuster diabetes drug that it is trying to prove can also improve cardiovascular health.
Last month, Farxiga showed a “statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful” reduction of cardiovascular death or the worsening of heart failure in patients with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), which means their hearts cannot pump enough blood to meet their body’s needs.
Again, the company has now been able to put a figure on this: Farxiga reduced the risk of cardiovascular death and stroke by 26%.
“Farxiga is well established in the treatment of type-2 diabetes, and these exciting new findings offer clinically meaningful insights into the potential of the medicine to reduce the burden of heart failure in patients with and without type-2 diabetes,” said Pangalos.