TOP NEWS: AstraZeneca Earnings Rise As Tagrisso Secures US Fast Track

(Alliance News) - AstraZeneca PLC on Thursday posted a rise in earnings for the first half of ...

Alliance News 30 July, 2020 | 10:08AM
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(Alliance News) - AstraZeneca PLC on Thursday posted a rise in earnings for the first half of 2020, as it also said Tagrisso has been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation in the US for the treatment of patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer.

Shares in the FTSE 100 drug manufacturer were trading 2.7% higher at 8,846.00 pence each on Thursday morning in London.

For the six months ended June 30, AstraZeneca posted revenue of USD12.63 billion, up 14% from USD11.31 billion recorded for the first half of 2019. Pretax profit was USD1.89 billion, doubled from USD899 million the year prior.

Core earnings per share rose 24% to USD2.01.

The Cambridge-based company said its performance was primarily driven by the performances of the new medicines within Emerging Markets and Oncology, as sales surged during the lockdown helped by a diverse product range which now includes a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

"I was particularly pleased with the robust growth in Emerging Markets and the success of our new medicines. Our company has mounted a significant response to Covid-19, with capacity to deliver over two billion doses of AZD1222, the accelerated development of our monoclonal antibodies and new trials for the use of Calquence and Farxiga to treat patients affected by the virus," said Chief Executive Pascal Soriot.

A first interim dividend of USD0.90 was declared, steady on a year prior.

Looking ahead, Astra said its 2020 full-year guidance was unchanged at high single-digit to low double-digit percentage growth in revenue and mid- to high-teens growth in core EPS. It also promised a "broad and equitable" supply of any Covid-19 vaccine that it develops during the pandemic at no profit.

Cash held as at the end of June was USD5.67 billion.

In a separate statement, the company said Tagrisso - osimertinib - has been granted breakthrough therapy designation in the US for the adjuvant treatment of patients with early-stage epidermal growth factor receptor-mutated non-small cell lung cancer after complete tumour resection with curative intent.

The designation by the Food & Drug Administration is designed to accelerate the development and regulatory review of potential new medicines that are intended to treat a serious condition and address a significant unmet medical need.

The decision to grant the fast track designation was based on data from the Phase III ADAURA trial which showed that Tagrisso demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in disease-free survival and reduced the risk of disease recurrence or death by 79%

"Patients with early-stage lung cancer often experience recurrence even after successful surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy, yet there are currently no approved targeted treatments to improve outcomes. The Phase III ADAURA trial with Tagrisso demonstrated an unprecedented level of clinical benefit in these patients, and we are working closely with the FDA to deliver this potentially curative treatment to patients as quickly as possible," said Jose Baselga, executive vice president, oncology research & development.

By Ife Taiwo; ifetaiwo@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
AstraZeneca PLC 8,746.00 GBX 1.13

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