AstraZeneca’s success in cancer drug trials gives it a boost

A combination study of two of AstraZeneca’s most popular cancer drugs has produced positive results. This is as Britain’s largest drug group continues to expand the range of its blockbuster drugs.

According to the FTSE 100 company, a combination of Lynparza (two of its most important oncology treatments) and Imfinzi (an existing drug), improved survival rates in cases where the disease has not progressed.

The phase III trial, which was late-stage and in its third stage, was conducted in patients who had been diagnosed with advanced ovarian carcinoma.

AstraZeneca shares rose to record levels after the interim analysis of Duo-o’s trial. The stock closed at £115.90 up 350p or 3.1%, valuing AstraZeneca at £180 billion. AstraZeneca stated that ovarian cancer is the eighth most prevalent cancer among women in the world. In 2020, there were more than 314,000 new cases and 207,000 deaths. It added that the number of deaths and new cases is expected to increase by 2040 to over 445,000 and 314,000, respectively.

Two thirds or more of patients are diagnosed as having advanced disease. This can lead to rapid progression.

AstraZeneca has launched Lynparza and Imfinzi as key oncology drugs in recent years, which have transformed the company’s portfolio, balance sheet, and share price.

Imfinzi saw sales of nearly $2.8 billion and Lynparza, $2.6 billion respectively. They have been approved in many countries both as standalone treatment and in combination with other medications.

AstraZeneca seeks to maintain its success by securing additional authorisations for various diseases in its medicines.

It will face generic competition in the next decade for four of its 13 blockbuster medicines, which generated a total of $9 billion in sales in 2021. This is almost a quarter its total product sales. Lynparza is one of them. It will be jointly developed by MSD in 2028.

Susan Galbraith is AstraZeneca’s executive vice-president for oncology research, development and management. She stated that while there have been some significant advances in the treatment of advanced ovarian carcinoma patients, there is still a need.

Sean Conroy is an analyst at Shore Capital. The City stockbroker forecasts Lynparza sales of $5 billion by 2026. He said that upgrades to financial forecasts were dependent on how the data compares to upcoming readouts from combination trial results by other companies such as GSK and Merck.