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AstraZeneca Imfinzi Positive in Phase III Lung Cancer Study


AstraZeneca PLC AZN recently announced positive data from a phase III PACIFIC study evaluating its oncology candidate, Imfinzi (durvalumab). The candidate is meant for the sequential treatment of patients with locally-advanced, unresectable (stage III) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The PACIFIC study is a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled multi-center study. It is being conducted in 235 centers across 26 countries. The study met its primary endpoints and demonstrated statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful progression free survival (PFS). Imfinzi led to significant reductions in the risk of deterioration of health or death, per data from the study. The results also demonstrate a favorable benefit/risk profile. Investors should note that Imfinzi is the first immuno-oncology medicine to show superior PFS compared to placebo in this patient setting.

Astrazeneca’s shares have significantly outperformed the Zacks classified Large Cap Pharma industry so far this year. Shares of the company have gained 24.4%, while the industry registered an increase of 8.6%.

We remind investors that earlier this month the FDA granted accelerated approval to Imfinzi for the treatment of previously treated patients with advanced bladder cancer.

Please note that Roche’s RHHBY Tecentriq is also approved for bladder cancer as well as for patients unable to tolerate cisplatin-containing chemo.

Per the company’s press release, stage III lung cancer affected around 100,000 patients in the G7 countries in 2016. Among them about 50% of these patients have tumors that are unresectable. Thus, approval of Imfinzi will provide the company access to a huge population base of patients affected by the disease.

We note that Imfinzi is being evaluated as a monotherapy as well as a combination treatment across a wide range of cancers including head and neck, gastric, pancreatic, hepatocellular and blood cancers.

Among other large cap pharma companies, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company’s BMY Opdivo and Merck & Co., Inc.’s MRK Keytruda are also approved for immuno-oncology treatments.

Astrazeneca PLC Price

Astrazeneca PLC Price | Astrazeneca PLC Quote

Zacks Rank

AstraZeneca currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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