Astra Zeneca Korea said Thursday it had some good news from its phase 3 Pacific trial for immunotherapy Imfinzi, saying the drug improved progression-free survival rates for patients with a form of lung cancer.
The company presented its findings on Imfinzi at a European cancer conference on Sunday saying the drug improved profession-free survival by more than 11 months compared with the standard of care for patients with non-operative locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
The drug also lowered the incidence of metastasis in the Imfinzi (ingredient: durvalumab) arm than the placebo’s, it added.
“These results are incredibly encouraging for a patient population that until now has been without treatment options. This is the first immunotherapeutic to show PFS improvement to treat non-operative non-small lunch cancer after chemotherapy,” AstraZeneca’s Vice President and CMO Sean Bohen said.
AstraZeneca is back on track after seeing relatively little success in one of the hottest therapy areas that are immuno-oncology, evidenced by the returned upward trend of its stocks as of Thursday.
The company’s success comes partly from its strategic focus on mid-stage cancer patients – specifically stage-three patients – unlike its competitors that focused on later-stage cancer patients.
“We see a clear opportunity for the drug to be a new standard therapy,” Bohen added.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration designated Imfinzi as an innovative treatment in July following platinum-based chemotherapy while granting its approval to treat patients with progressive bladder cancer with a history of treatment. The company is undergoing approval processes in both Canada and Australia, too.
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