2017 to be the crucial year for AstraZeneca

All analysts agree that 2017 will be a key year for AstraZeneca, which will announce results from as many as three relevant Phase III oncology trials within the next 12 months. Oncology is the treatment area on which Pascal Soriot has decided to focus going forward. Specifically, the following Phase III clinical trials will be completed in 2017: PACIFIC (durvalumab vs placebo), ARCTIC (durvalumab vs SoC (PD-L1 pos.), MYSTIC (durvalumab vs durva + treme vs SoC). The three trials test the immunotherapy durvalumab as a lung cancer treatment. The most relevant and complex of the three is Mystic, investigating durvalumab as an alternative to chemotherapy, both as monotherapy or in combination with other immunotherapies. Expectations are not high, following failure of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s clinical trial, which had tested immunotherapy Opdivo as a lung cancer treatment. The failure, however, has favored US competitor MSD, which has obtained positive results with Keytruda. AstraZeneca is, in fact, a latecomer in the immunotherapy business, yet it has promptly stated it intends to adopt a methodical approach to it, by engaging in long, demanding clinical trials. Should Mystic achieve the set endpoints, this latecomer could suddenly become one of the most promising companies operating in the immunotherapy business. This is one of the fastest-growing markets and has currently Roche, MSD, Pfizer and BMS as its main players. (Source AstraZeneca & FT)