AstraZeneca announces good results from endometrial cancer trial

AstraZeneca boasts positive results from drug trial involving late-stage endometrial cancer patients

  • AstraZeneca earned over $4bn in revenues from Imfinzi and Lynparza last year
  • Endometrial cancer is one of the world’s most common cancers affecting women

A late-stage drug trial involving patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer has shown positive outcomes, AstraZeneca has said.

The pharmaceuticals giant said that people treated with the drugs Imfinzi and Lynparza, when combined with chemotherapy, had seen a ‘statistically significant and clinically meaningful’ gain in progression-free survival. 

A ‘greater clinical benefit’ was noted when Imfinzi and Lynparza were part of a combined treatment rather than when the drugs were used separately, it added.

AstraZeneca has revealed positive results from a phase three 

Imfinzi – also known as Durvalumab – is typically used to treat certain lung, bile duct and gallbladder cancers, while Lynparza, whose generic name isOlparib – is used for particular forms of ovarian, prostate, breast and pancreatic cancers.

AstraZeneca earned over $4billion in revenues from the two drugs last year, equivalent to more than half of all sales in its oncology division.

Susan Galbraith, the executive vice-president of oncology research and development at AstraZeneca, said: ‘These results underscore our ambition to redefine cancer care, and we hope to bring this innovative Imfinzi and Lynparza combination to endometrial cancer patients as soon as possible.’

Endometrial cancer is one of the world’s most common cancers affecting women, with more than 417,000 patients diagnosed and 97,000 dying from the condition in 2020.

It is the most prevalent form of uterine cancer, predominantly impacting women who are post-menopausal and over 60 years old.

Diagnoses of the condition are expected to increase by nearly 40 per cent by the end of next decade, according to the World Health Organisation.

AstraZeneca shares were 0.33 per cent higher at £116.80 just after midday on Friday, remaining just above their value at the start of the year.

In first-quarter results released last month, the FTSE 100 firm revealed that sales from cancer drugs grew by 19 per cent, with revenues from Imfinzi hitting $900million, far exceeding estimates of about $735million.

However, total turnover dipped 4 per cent to $10.9billion due to a plunge in orders for Covid-19 vaccines as governments loosened travel restrictions.

Following the performance, AstraZeneca upheld its outlook for revenue to grow by a low-to-mid single-digit percentage but low double-digit figures when excluding coronavirus-related sales.