Can AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE:AZN) Lung Cancer Pill Take Over Chemo Treatment?

Can AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE:AZN) Lung Cancer Pill Take Over Chemo Treatment?

Tagrisso, a lung cancer med from AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE:AZN) is already in early approval based on mid-stage studies, which demonstrates the possibility of its replacing the standard chemotherapy for lung cancer. In a major clinical trial, the blockbuster described as an important pillar in the company’s big sales ambitions exhibited advances in progression-free survival. AstraZeneca says that this lowered patients’ risk of disease progression by 70%. The results of the trial were collected from 419 patients whose condition had progressed after using a so-called EGFR inhibitor drug the likes of AstraZeneca’s Iressa or Roche’s Tarceva.

Will AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso be given a chance in the market?

Apparently, the drug is already riding strong momentum having sold $276 million in the first nine months of 2016. Besides, the cancellation of Clovis Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:CLVS) development of its would-be rival gives AstraZeneca unrestricted access in its market niche. The drug obtained accelerated approval from the FDA a year ago. Thus the newest confirmatory data is likely to make it the standard of care for cancer patients.

While many analysts are viewing the Tagrisso target as highly ambitious, AstraZeneca’s chief medical officer, Sean Bohen, says it is more realistic than many realize. Patients, especially those whose cancer has spread to the brain, have something to fall back on. After all, reports have it that 25-40% of patients experience brain metastases at some point in their disease.

A fundamental component of AstraZeneca’s target to lift sales

Tagrisso has contributed $276 million in sales in the first nine months of this year having been priced at $12,750 per month, or $153,000 for a full year of treatment. The lung cancer drug has so far set foot in the main Western markets and Japan, and it is under fast-track review in China. Thus it is expecting to hit $45 billion in annual sales by 2023. Tagrisso has been a bright spot all along, and its new target goal is in response to a takeover attempt by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) in 2014.

The company now sets to cut some of its expenses by moving some of its finance jobs out of the U.K. to Malaysia, Costa Rica and Poland. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca’s stock closed at $26.01 witnessing an increase of $0.19 or 0.74%.