Lung Cancer Drug Flop Hammers AstraZeneca Shares

AstraZeneca Merck strike key cancer drugs partnership

AstraZeneca shares fell 15 percent after the British drugmaker said its highly anticipated clinical trial, called MYSTIC, failed to show its two-drug combination extended progression-free survival, a measure of how long patients live without their cancer growing, compared with standard-of-care chemotherapy.

It's never a good day when drugs don't appear to work, and that was the case Thursday for an experimental combination of AstraZeneca medicines created to treat lung cancer. In a further disappointment, Imfinizi monotherapy also would not have beaten out standard-of-care treatment, AstraZeneca said - although that secondary objective was not formally tested.

The negative results from the so-called MYSTIC study are a stinging setback to AstraZeneca's ambition to leapfrog over its cancer immunotherapy rivals.

AZ's chief executive Pascal Soriot urged patience on MYSTIC this morning, saying the trial "continues as planned to evaluate overall survival", adding that the company's financial performance is in line with expectations and asserting that AZ has "continued pipeline momentum".

The results as well as the outcome of the MYSTIC trial follow recent media reports that Soriot might be headed for generics drugmaker Teva.

Male suspect still at large: 5 injured in chainsaw attack
Officers warned that Wrousis may be armed and asked anyone who sees him to contact police immediately, and to keep away from him. According to the police, the 51-year-old man is believed to be bald, around 190cm tall with an unkempt appearance.

Soriot declined to comment directly on what he described as "rumours" on Thursday, although company insiders said he would have had to make a statement if he had firm plans to leave. "I'm proud to be the CEO of this company and I look forward to continuing on our journey ahead and continuing to lead the incredible team. the only thing I can tell you is I am here today".

The trial featured an immunotherapy drug, which AstraZeneca hopes will be able to be used as an alternative to chemotherapy in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer in future, but results were disappointing.

But Bristol-Myers Squibb fell 5 percent, as investors anxious about its experimental immunotherapy treatment that is similar to AstraZeneca's combination.

Merck stock jumped; its immunotherapy drug Keytruda is already approved in advanced lung cancer, and analysts said these results are likely to solidify its position.

Durvalumab, which AstraZeneca flagged in 2014 as having annual sales potential of $6.5 billion, is key to its drive into oncology.

'Mandela's Last Years' withdrawn - Penguin Random House SA
Ramlakan revealed that it was Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and not Machel who spent several hours with Mandela before his death. He said withdrawing the book sent out "a loud and clear message that some things are worth more than money".

AstraZeneca will net US$1.6bn from Merck upfront and the overall figure could reach as high as US$8.5bn subject to certain milestones.

"AstraZeneca is now at a crossroads", said Joe Walters, senior fund manager at Royal London Asset Management, a top-30 shareholder, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Total revenue declined by 10 percent to US$5.05 billion as sales of the cholesterol drug Crestor fell by 40 percent to US$560 million. Revenue dropped 10% to $5.05 billion.

As for dividend, that remained unchanged at US$0.90 (68.9p) a share as Astra repeated its full-year guidance.

Michelle Pfeiffer To Come On Board For 'Ant-Man and the Wasp'
The hosts of this show were Ant-Man's Paul Rudd and Michael Pena in character as Scott Lang and Luis, respectively. It's starting to feel like there's been a long gap between Ant-Man and its planned sequel, Ant-Man And The Wasp .

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