AstraZeneca in drug victory
ON THE eve of its first half results, US pharma company AstraZeneca scored a vital regulatory victory.
US advisers backed a potential blockbuster blood thinner from the firm which will help to offset expiring patents on some of its best-selling medicines.
Members of a Food and Drug Administration panel voted 7-1 to recommend approval of Brilinta for patients suffering from heart attacks or chest pain who need drug therapy or an artery-clearing procedure.
Analysts predict Brilinta’s sales will top $1bn (£640m) a year based on strong results showing the medicine reduced deaths and heart attacks.
AstraZeneca shares, which surged in the final hour of regular trading to finish 3.2 per cent higher on the New York Stock Exchange, gained another 2.6 per cent in after-hours trade to $52.84, following the panel vote.
The company overcame doubts about Brilinta’s effectiveness in US patients. In a clinical trial of 18,000 patients, the relatively small group from North America saw no benefit.