AstraZeneca shares rise on positive results from cancer drug trial

AstraZeneca shares rise on positive results from cancer drug trial

AstraZeneca shares rise as trials show drug could help prolong life for terminally ill prostate cancer

  • Trials show treatment delays disease progression by more than eight months
  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK.
  • Shares of Astrazeneca rose 4% to £87.19 just before noon.

Shares of Astrazeneca are up 4% this morning after the pharmaceutical giant reported positive results from its latest trial of a prostate cancer drug.

The FTSE 100 group said its drug Lynparza, when combined with conventional hormone therapy, delays disease progression by more than eight months compared to the current standard of care.

“This combination of Lynparza can give first-line patients more time without disease progression while maintaining their quality of life,” said Susan Galbraith, executive vice president of oncology research and development at AstraZeneca.

Hope: New treatment can delay progression of prostate cancer by more than 8 months

Hope: New treatment can delay progression of prostate cancer by more than 8 months

Shares of Astrazeneca rose 4% to £87.19 just before noon.

A surge in heavyweight stocks helped push the FTSE 100 up 0.7% to 7583.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and the second most common in the world.

According to the charity Prostate Cancer UK, about one in eight people in the UK is diagnosed with it in their lifetime, with the disease claiming more than 11,500 lives a year.

Globally, it caused about 375,000 deaths in 2020, according to Astrazeneca, with survival rates still low for those diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

Lynparza is already approved in many countries, including the US and Japan, for the treatment of breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer.

According to Jefferies analysts, the success of prostate cancer clinical trials could be very lucrative.

They have previously said that the 30,000 to 50,000 cancer patients in the US alone represent a “significant commercial opportunity” of £2.2bn to £3.7bn in sales.

Astrazeneca said its latest phase 3 trial found that hormone-treated Lynparza reduced the risk of disease progression or death by a third compared to standard hormone-only treatment.

The results also showed a “favorable trend” for improved overall survival.

Roy Baines, chief medical officer of MSD Research Laboratories, which developed the drug with Astrazeneca, said: “We look forward to discussing these important findings with global health authorities as soon as possible.”

This comes as Astrazeneca increased its dividend for the first time in a decade this week after record sales.

The pharmaceutical giant’s revenue rose 41% to £27.5bn last year, boosted by nearly £3bn of Covid-19 vaccine sales.

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