Why AstraZeneca's share price rocketed last week

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15/05/2017

AstraZeneca's share price went up five per cent Friday morning (12th May) with news of positive results in a Phase III cancer drug trial.

The potential treatment, Imfinzi, developed by AZ and its Cambridge-based research arm MedImmune, was being trialed on patients with advanced, stage III lung cancer, a condition where survival rates are low. A planned interim analysis conducted by an independent data monitoring committee concluded that the trial has already met a primary endpoint by showing statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful progression-free survival (PFS), as assessed by blinded independent central review, in patients receiving Imfinzi compared to placebo.

Sean Bohen, executive vice president for global medicines development, and chief medical officer at AstraZeneca, said: “These are highly encouraging results for patients with locally-advanced lung cancer for whom surgery is not an option. We look forward to working with regulatory authorities around the world to bring Imfinzi to lung cancer patients as soon as possible. Alongside this, we continue to explore Imfinzi’s full potential as monotherapy as well as in combination with tremelimumab and other medicines in areas of continued unmet need across multiple types of cancer.”

AZ said the results also demonstrate a favourable benefit/risk profile. The trial will also evaluate overall survival (OS), the other primary endpoint, which will be assessed in due course as specified by the protocol. AstraZeneca plans to submit the initial results from the PACIFIC trial for presentation at a forthcoming medical meeting.

The company recently received accelerated approval from the US FDA for Imfinzi in previously treated patients with advanced bladder cancer.


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