AstraZeneca shows off results for lung and ovarian cancer treatments
For anyone that doubted that AstraZeneca could develop blockbuster drugs after last months successful defence against a £69bn takeover by Pfizer, had to a back seat this week as the Anglo Swedish firm reported positive results for its major new cancer treatments.
A statement earlier this week from AstraZeneca to the stock exchange, presented clinical data on its lung cancer treatments AZD9291 and MEDI4736. As well as the results of an intermediate phase II study, which had been conducted by the US National Cancer Institute on an ovarian cancer treatment. All three treatments were showing progress.
Cancer treatments have been a hot topic recently with GSK getting involved with cancer treatments again and a man who has reported to have been cured of advanced skin cancer. With AstraZeneca’s latest results it further endorses the research done into cancer in the UK.
John Ansell, an independent pharmaceutical consultant, said: “There is a good chance that AstraZeneca has got some blockbusters of the future. It would not have stuck its neck out over the past few weeks if it didn’t think the trials would have had good results. Cancer drugs can have a swift impact on sales as authorities will often fast-forward registration in areas where there are few treatments.”
Chief executive of AstraZeneca Pascal Soriot, has come under a lot of pressure and criticism from investors to deliver top selling treatments and prove once and for all that the drugmaker can reverse its recent reputation for failing to develop significant drugs. In Soirot’s defence he has pledged that there wll be a 75% increase in annual sales to £27bn by 2023. This forecast was built round cancer treatments playing a major role.
Soriot said: “Our growing oncology pipeline is underpinned by exciting science and great talent. We have compelling new data on important mid to late stage assets, which clearly demonstrate our potential to transform the way cancer is treated and the right people to move them forward.”
AstraZeneca shares mirrored the wider falling market, falling 0.5% to £43.49, however they remain 15% higher than when news of Pfizer’s interest emerged in April.