AstraZeneca’s Cancer Drug Lynparza Positive in Phase III – March 15, 2017

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AstraZeneca plc (AZN Free Report) announced positive results from phase III SOLO-2 study which support the potential benefit of marketed drug Lynparza (olaparib) as a maintenance therapy in relapsed ovarian cancer.

Lynparza was approved in 2014 for the maintenance treatment of women with BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer. It is presently approved in the EU and the U.S. for the given indication.

AstraZeneca’s shares outperformed the Zacks classified Large Cap Pharma industry so far this year. Its shares increased 10.9%, while the industry gained 6.6%.

Coming back to the SOLO-2 study, which evaluated germline BRCA-mutated (gBRCA), platinum-sensitive, relapsed ovarian cancer patients, met its primary end point. Data from the study showed that Lynparza tablets reduced risk of disease progression by 70% with an investigator-assessed progression-free survival (PFS) of 19.1 months vs 5.5 months compared to placebo. Moreover, blinded independent central review which is a pre-specified analysis supporting the primary endpoint, showed impressive progression-free survival of 30.2 months vs 5.5 months with placebo.

The data from the study builds upon previous trials examining Lynparza in relapsed ovarian cancer. Moving ahead, if the tablet formulation receives an approval to reduce the pill burden of patients, the 300mg twice-daily tablet dose reduces the pill burden for patients from sixteen capsules to four tablets per day.

Results were presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in National Harbor, U.S.

We remind the investors that Lynparza registered sales of $218 million in 2016 compared with $94 million in 2015. Label expansion would boost the drug’s sales further.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca is evaluating the potential of Lynparza in other PARP dependent tumors. Currently, phase III studies on Lynparza are ongoing for several indications like gastric cancer and pancreatic cancer among others along with additional studies being planned. In fact, by 2020 AstraZeneca is aiming to bring six new cancer medicines to the market.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

AstraZeneca currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Addus HomeCare Corporation (ADUS Free Report) , The Advisory Board Company (ABCO Free Report) and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BCRX Free Report) . Each of these stocks carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Addus HomeCare’s earnings per share estimates increased from $1.38 to $1.41 for 2017, over the last 30 days. The company posted positive earnings surprises in two of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 10.10%.

The Advisory Board’s earnings per share estimates increased from $1.41 to $1.48 for 2017, over the last 30 days. The company posted positive earnings surprises in three of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 33.41%.

BioCryst Pharma’s loss per share estimates narrowed from 88 cents to 66 cents for 2017 and from 93 cents to 70 cents, over the last 30 days. The company posted positive earnings surprises in three of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 20%.

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Source: einnews.com