AstraZeneca AZN reported positive results from its DUO-E phase III study which evaluated Imfinzi (durvalumab) alone or combined with Lynparza (olaparib) as a maintenance treatment for patients with newly diagnosed advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer.
Per AstraZeneca, a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival was observed in participants who were administered either Imfinzi alone or Imfinzi plus Lynparza for treating endometrial cancer.
Management further observed that the patients, who received the Imfinzi-Lynparza, demonstrated a greater clinical benefit over treatment with Imfinzi alone.
The company also reported that the data regarding overall survival were immature at the time of the analysis. Nevertheless, a favorable trend was observed for both treatment regimens.
In the year so far, shares of AstraZeneca have climbed 6.9% against the industry’s 0.8% fall.
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Imfinzi, a PD-L1 inhibitor, was first approved by the FDA in May 2017, for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant platinum-containing chemotherapy.
Currently, Imfinzi is approved in the United States, EU and Japan for treating several oncology indications. AstraZeneca reports that more than 150,000 patients have been treated with Imfinzi, to date. Imfinzi is also being evaluated as a single treatment and in combinations with other anti-cancer treatments for patients with SCLC, NSCLC, bladder cancer, several gastrointestinal cancers and other solid tumors.
On the other hand, AstraZeneca’s Lynparza, a PARP inhibitor, is approved for four cancer types, such as ovarian, breast, prostate and pancreatic. AstraZeneca markets Lynparza in partnership with Merck MRK. In the first quarter of 2023, Lynparza generated product sales of $651 million for AstraZeneca and alliance revenues of $275 million for Merck. Lynparza is also being evaluated by AstraZeneca/Merck, in earlier line setting for the approved cancer indications as well as some other cancer types.
The profit-sharing deal between AstraZeneca and Merck was inked in 2017. In addition to Lynparza, the deal included Koselugo.
Management believes that the Imfinzi-Lynparza combo has the potential to become a new treatment approach to improve outcomes for patients suffering from endometrial cancer. AstraZeneca plans to present these findings at a future medical conference and also looks forward to holding meetings with regulatory authorities to discuss further steps.
AstraZeneca PLC Price and Consensus
AstraZeneca PLC price-consensus-chart | AstraZeneca PLC Quote
Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider
AstraZeneca currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
A couple of better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector are Allogene Therapeutics ALLO and Akero Therapeutics AKRO, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
In the past 90 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Allogene Therapeutics’ 2023 loss per share has narrowed from $2.83 to $2.31. In the year so far, shares of Allogene Therapeutics have fallen by 12.1%.
ALLO beat estimates in three of the trailing four quarters, missing the mark on one occasion, delivering an average earnings surprise of 5.08%.
In the past 90 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Akero Therapeutics’ 2023 loss per share has narrowed from $3.46 to $2.78. In the year so far, shares of Akero Therapeutics have fallen by 18.4%.
AKRO beat estimates in three of the trailing four quarters, missing the mark on one occasion, delivering an average earnings surprise of 7.96%.
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