AstraZeneca ticks another box as US approves severe asthma drug

AstraZeneca has achieved another milestone in rebuilding its drug portfolio with U.S. approval of a drug for severe asthma as the company battles to put patent losses on older medicines behind that will.

The U.S. Food along with Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to endorse benralizumab, which will be marketed under the name Fasenra, follows a positive recommendation for the product in Europe on Friday.

Shares in AstraZeneca were 1 percent higher on Wednesday following the overnight news.

Fasenra will compete with GlaxoSmithKline’s Nucala along with Teva’s Cinqair — two various other injectable antibody drugs for severe asthma — although AstraZeneca believes its product’s potency along with convenient dosing could give that will an edge.

The Anglo-Swedish company will be also being competitive on cost, setting a long-term cost below that will of rivals at $28,000, or $33,000 in a maintenance year, depending on whether patients receive six or seven doses.

Treatment from the first year will cost $38,000, as more doses are needed, which AstraZeneca said was in line with competing biologic drugs in severe asthma.

While most investor focus will be on AstraZeneca’s cancer research, the company also includes a long history in respiratory therapy that will that will plans to build on with Fasenra along with another earlier-stage medicine called tezepelumab that will will be developing with Amgen.

Modern biotech asthma drugs are offering fresh desire for severe asthma sufferers who continue to have breathing problems despite using modern inhalers. from the case of Fasrena, the number of severe asthma attacks was roughly halved in clinical tests.

Fasrena will be designed for patients that has a particular kind of asthma driven by a type of white blood cells called eosinophils.

AstraZeneca had previously said that will hoped to win U.S. approval for the fresh drug before the end of the year. The FDA approval, announced late on Tuesday, clears Fasenra as an add-on treatment for severe asthma patients aged 12 years along with older.

“This particular will be the first approval through our respiratory biologics portfolio along with the latest in a series of significant milestones for our company as we deliver on our pipeline-driven transformation,” said AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot.

Last week, while presenting quarterly results, Soriot said the drugmaker was moving into a commercial execution mode, following the success of numerous fresh medicines in clinical development.

In cancer, that will has seen Great results in 2017 with two fresh pills already on the market — Lynparza along with Tagrisso — while its blood cancer drug Calquence won U.S. approval last month. Imfinzi, its closely watched immunotherapy medicine, failed in initial tests in one lung cancer setting although proved successful in another.

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