AstraZeneca said today that tralokinumab's failure in the latest two
Phase III studies was "disappointing".
Investors, however, took the news in their stride and the shares
rose 1.3 percent in early trade as the setback was not unexpected
and was offset by the good news of early approval for AstraZeneca's
blood cancer drug Calquence.
Tralokinumab had been viewed as a risky project after Roche reported
disappointing results with its similar medicine lebrikizumab last
year. Both drugs block a protein called interleukin-13.
AstraZeneca also has another experimental drug for severe asthma
called benralizumab that works in a different way and is currently
awaiting regulatory approval. It will compete with other recently
approved treatments such as GlaxoSmithKline’s Nucala.
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(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Jason Neely)
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