AstraZeneca Unveils Research Findings for Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer and Leukemia Drugs and Appoints CFO


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AstraZeneca has announced a series of encouraging research results, a new drug approval and a new major appointment.


A Phase III Study Has Shown AstraZeneca and MSDs Lynparza (olaparib) reduced the risk of cancer recurrence by 42 percent in adjuvant treatment of patients with germline BRCA-mutated high-risk early-stage breast cancer.

Dave Fredrickson, executive vice president, oncology business unit, AstraZeneca (25544507)
Dave Fredrickson, executive vice president, oncology business unit, AstraZeneca (25544507)

Dave Fredrickson, executive vice president, oncology business unit, said: “This is the first time a drug targeting a BRCA mutation has demonstrated the potential to alter the course of early breast cancer and provide hope for a cure. to offer.

“By providing a treatment that significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer recurrence in these high-risk patients, we hope Lynparza will set a new benchmark demonstrating sustainable clinical benefit. We are working with regulatory authorities to get Lynparza to these patients as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, another phase III trial of AstraZeneca’s Imfinzi (durvalumab) showed encouraging results for patients with unresectable, stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who did not progress after concomitant chemoradiation therapy (CRT). One-third of patients were progression-free after five years – the longest survival ever reported in a phase III trial of immunotherapy in this setting.

An aerial view of AstraZeneca's global R&D center being completed on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.  Image: AstraZeneca
An aerial view of AstraZeneca’s global R&D center being completed on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Image: AstraZeneca

David Spigel, scientific director of the Sarah Cannon Research Institute and researcher in the PACIFIC study, said: “Historically, only 15-30 percent of these patients survived five years, but these results show that with up to one year of treatment with Imfinzi lives an estimated 43 percent of patients still had progress after five years, and three quarters of these patients had also not improved during that time. This is a momentous achievement on the five-year milestone in this curative design.”

And the final results of the ELEVATE-RR Phase III direct trial of AstraZeneca’s Calquence (acalabrutinib) showed fewer cases of atrial fibrillation compared to ibrutinib in adults with previously treated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common type of adult leukemia.

A four-year follow-up of the ELEVATE-TN phase III study also demonstrated strong benefits in terms of progression-free survival for Calquence as combination therapy or as monotherapy in treatment-naïve patients with CLL.

An aerial view of what AstraZeneca's South Plot building will look like on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, near the Global R&D Center.  Image: AstraZeneca
An aerial view of what AstraZeneca’s South Plot building will look like on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, near the Global R&D Center. Image: AstraZeneca

And analysis of Phase III trial data showed that anifrolumab was consistently associated with improvements in both rash and arthritis across three different disease measures, each compared to placebo, in patients with moderate to severe systemic lupus erythematosus.

Meanwhile, Tagrisso (osimertinib) has been approved in the EU for the adjuvant treatment of adult patients with early stage EGFRm non-small cell lung cancer after complete tumor resection with curative intent. It follows positive results from a phase III trial that was shown to improve patients’ disease-free survival.

AstraZeneca also announced the appointment of Aradhana Sarin as executive director and chief financial officer, subject to the $39 billion acquisition of the company Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Boston Rare Disease Specialist – expected in the third quarter – has been completed.

dr. Sarin is currently executive vice president, chief financial officer of Alexion, and will move from the US to the UK, where she will report to Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca.

Marc Dunoyer, CFO of AstraZeneca, who is expected to become CEO of Alexio when the acquisition by AstraZeneca closes.  Photo: AstraZeneca (47964557)
Marc Dunoyer, CFO of AstraZeneca, who is expected to become CEO of Alexio when the acquisition by AstraZeneca closes. Photo: AstraZeneca (47964557)

dr. Sarin will replace Marc Dunoyer, who is stepping down as CFO after more than seven years and is retiring from AstraZeneca’s board of directors to become CEO of Alexion and chief strategy officer at AstraZeneca, while remaining part of the senior executive team

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