Cancer

AstraZeneca rally continues as US regulator endorses cancer drug

AstraZeneca’s share price rally continued this morning on news that its leading immuno-oncology drug Imfinzi has been granted ‘breakthrough’ status by US regulators, despite a major setback in its long-awaited ‘Mystic’ clinical trial last week that wiped £10bn from its market value.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision means that Imfinzi will be reviewed more quickly for treatments relating to previously treated non-metastatic lung cancer. This means it could potentially be launched more quickly.

An AstraZeneca trial called Pacific, which reported in May, found patients with this kind of cancer were responsive to Imfinzi.

The cause of the company’s share price crash last Thursday stemmed from a negative result from Mystic, a separate trial of Imfinzi that targeted the larger, advanced lung cancer market.

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13:34:23 – Monday 31, July, 2017

© 2016 AJ Bell Media (Prices delayed by 15 mins)

AstraZeneca shares dived 16pc on the Mystic results to below £43, down from the previous day’s close of £51, their biggest single day fall.

But they rallied slightly on Friday and continued to claw back some of their losses today on the FDA news, edging up more than 2pc in early afternoon trading to just shy of the £46 mark.

However, in more negative news, ratings agency Moody’s followed Standard & Poor’s lead from last Friday and downgraded AstraZeneca’s borrowing a notch to A3- as a result of the…