AstraZeneca starts late-stage study of key new cancer drug
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[May 08, 2014]
— AstraZeneca, which is
fighting a $106 billion bid approach from Pfizer, said on Thursday
it had launched a final-stage study of a key new lung cancer drug
that is being fast-tracked through clinical tests.
The British drugmaker had said last month it planned
to start Phase III testing imminently with MEDI4736, which belongs
to a class known as anti-PD-L1 treatments that boost the immune
AstraZeneca has accelerated the development program for the medicine
following encouraging results from initial Phase I trials, results
of which will be presented at the May 30-June 3 American Society of
Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago.
The company's pipeline of experimental cancer drugs is one of the
lures for Pfizer, which also expects to make big cost and tax
savings from a buying AstraZeneca.
"MEDI4736 is an important molecule in our immuno-oncology portfolio
and its entry into Phase III clinical trials is further evidence of
our commitment to invest in distinctive science in our core therapy
areas and to rapidly progress our immuno-oncology pipeline," said
global drug development head Briggs Morrison.
The so-called PACIFIC trial will involve 702 patients across more
than 100 sites globally. The goal is to evaluate progression free
survival and overall survival with MEDI4736 compared with placebo in
patients with locally advanced, unresectable Stage III non-small
cell lung cancer.(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Pravin Char)
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