Following reports of lung disease in some patients, AstraZeneca has temporarily halted two clinical trials combining experimental drugs to treat lung cancer, said the company.
The company stopped tests that combined its AZD9291 compound with durvalumab to treat patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer after an increase in the incidence of interstitial lung disease-like reports, spokeswoman Esra Erkal-Paler said by e-mail, confirming a note to investors from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
A spokeswoman said the tests had been paused due to an increase in the incidence of interstitial lung disease-like reports. No deaths have been reported as a result of the problem. Patients in the trials will get updated consent forms before deciding whether to continue in the studies.
AZD9291 and durvalumab are two of AstraZeneca's most promising experimental cancer treatments, although their use together in lung disease is only one of many possible applications.
The news may limit Astra's ability to combine AZD9291 with other drugs and benefit U.S. rival Clovis Oncology Inc., which is developing a competing drug called rociletinib, Terence Flynn, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, said in the note.
Shares of AstraZeneca dropped 0.2 percent to 4,150.50 pence as of 9:35 a.m. in London trading.