KHN Morning Briefing

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Closely Watched Oncology Drugs Fail To Deliver Promising Results

AstraZeneca, which had touted the new approach to cancer treatment, saw its stocks plunge after a disappointing clinical trial.

The Wall Street Journal: AstraZeneca Faces Major Setback Over Cancer Drugs
AstraZeneca said a combination of two of its new oncology drugs failed to shrink lung cancer tumors in a closely watched clinical trial, casting doubt on a central part of the company’s ambitious growth plans. The trial, dubbed Mystic, centered on the combination of two immuno-oncology drugs, which are designed to boost the immune system’s ability to eradicate cancer cells. AstraZeneca said the combination was no better than standard chemotherapy at shrinking tumors in advanced lung cancer. (Roland, 7/27)

Stat: AstraZeneca Lung Cancer Immunotherapy Trial Failure Sends Shares Plunging
highly anticipated clinical trial combining two immunotherapy drugs failed to delay tumor growth in patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer, sending AstraZeneca sharply lower Thursday.The negative results from the so-called MYSTIC study are a stinging setback to AstraZeneca’s ambition to leapfrog over its cancer immunotherapy rivals. (Feuerstein, 7/27)

In other pharmaceutical news —

The Wall Street Journal: Glaxo Slashes R&D Projects To Focus On Top Prospects
GlaxoSmithKline axed more than 30 drug-research projects to focus on four key disease areas, in a push by new Chief Executive Emma Walmsley to sharpen the company’s research-and-development operations. U.K.-based Glaxo said Wednesday it would now focus its research on respiratory diseases, HIV and other infectious diseases, cancer and immuno-inflammatory conditions. (Roland, 7/26)

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