AstraZeneca plc (ADR)(NYSE:AZN) Shares Fall Following Setback On Cancer Drug

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Imfinzi from AstraZeneca plc (ADR)(NYSE:AZN), which is used alongside tremelimumab seems to have hit a dead end. Through a study dubbed Mystic, the drug failed to prove its worth in checking the growth of lung tumors. The situation has affected the company’s shares massively given that they fell by 15% to £43.47 yesterday. This is the company’s worst share price fall and such a huge setback.

From the results of the study, the immunotherapy drug failed to obtain its endpoints for progression free survival. Apparently, the Anglo-Swedish pharma had a high expectation that it would be adopted as a first line treatment of lung cancer.

The failure could challenge the company’s ability to deliver

The Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot was doing anything possible to make the company one of the world’s five largest drugmakers. On the other hand, analysts’ estimation was that the company would be posting more than $7 billion in sales by 2022. However, this will not be the case yet Imfinzi had been positioned to become Astra’s biggest medicine by sales.

The new unfolding also poses a challenge to Soriot’s ability to deliver on his growth strategy. Goals set in 2014 were directed towards boosting revenue to $45 billion by 2023. However, the CEO does not feel threatened.

He says, “Despite the outcome of the initial readout, we must be patient as the Mystic trial continues as planned to evaluate overall survival.”

But it seems like AstraZeneca Plc has bigger plans

A lot has been happening in the pharmaceutical market. If the disappointing Mystic results are anything to go by, it seems like the market is becoming more unpredictable by the day. There is a very stiff competition between drug makers the likes of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) in developing life-saving cancer therapies.

Nonetheless, despite the outcome of the results, AstraZeneca Plc is still hopeful of winning in other areas. For example, it is establishing a strategic collaboration with Merck in an effort to maximize the potential of Lynparza, which is also a cancer drug. From the agreement, Merck will part with close to $8.5 billion. This will cover $1.6 billion in an upfront payment and another $750 million for license options. In the meantime, AstraZeneca Plc stock closed at $28.72 a decline of $5.22 or 15.38%.

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