AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) has recently won approval for its lung cancer drug Tagrisso in the United Kingdom.
The $435-million Cancer Drugs Fund will cover Tagrisso, which is the first cancer drug to be launched under the National Health Service (NHS) through such funding.
AstraZeneca has received the coveted approval after submitting sufficient and updated data from its clinical trials. It has also agreed to provide succeeding clinical trial results. Initially, the company’s application had been rejected in May.
Lisa Anson, AstraZeneca UK President, has lauded the development program for having one of the fastest procedures of regulatory agencies. This reiterates the desires of both AstraZeneca and the NHS to let new drugs reach patients quicker.
The demand for new cancer treatments is significantly increasing. About 90% of cancer patients in the UK do not survive at least five years following diagnosis with traditional treatments such as chemotherapy.
Tagrisso is approved for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, the deadliest and most common form of lung cancer, and T790M, a genetic mutation.
Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ARLZ) Aralez Pharmaceuticals Trading DAC Partnership
In other news, AstraZeneca has recently entered into a licensing agreement with Aralez Pharmaceuticals Trading for the commercialization of branded and generic Toprol-XL (metoprolol succinate) in the United States, a control treatment for angina, heart failure, and hypertension.
Aralez Pharmaceuticals Trading will pay $175 million to AstraZeneca for the US rights of Toprol-XL. Moreover, the latter is entitled to a maximum of $48 million in milestone payments, and royalties from future sales. In return, it will continue to manufacture the drug for Aralez.
“This agreement allows us to focus our resources on our new launches and pipeline of innovative medicines, while working with Aralez, a partner with expertise in cardiovascular disease, to ensure continued patient access to Toprol-XL,” said Mark Mallon, AstraZeneca Executive Vice President (EVP) of Global Product & Portfolio Strategy.
On Tuesday, AstraZeneca has closed at $32.57, down by 1.30% while Aralez Pharmaceuticals has ended at $5.33, up by 5.34%.