AstraZeneca shares fall over 4% after lung cancer drug trial data

This week, shares in AstraZeneca fell more than 4 percent after the disappointing outcomes of a data abstract on its experimental precision drug, datopotamab deruxtecan, used in lung cancer patients in a late-stage trial.

The abstract was published ahead of the European Society for Medical Oncology’s (ESMO) congress, which will begin in Madrid on October 20.

The data was “worse-than-expected,” said Jefferies analyst Stephen Barker, who noted that the drug only improved the time patients with non-small cell lung cancer lived without their disease, worsening by 0.7 months compared to chemotherapy.

He was expecting an improvement of 1.5 to 2 months, he added.

In a note, Guggeinheim Securities analyst Seamus Fernandez said the data abstracts, which also included details on the drug from a breast cancer trial, did not “drive excitement” and were unlikely to result in any changes to forecast numbers for the drug.

Progression-free survival in lung cancer patients were below expectations, he added, but he noted that treatment-related deaths were “not as bad as feared.”

In a note, Barclays analyst Emily Field also said that safety looked better than expected for lung cancer patients, and the data abstracts were “collectively positive” for AstraZeneca.

The drugmaker’s London-listed shares were down 3.7 percent at 1219 GMT, while its US-listed shares also fell about 4 percent in early trading hours.

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