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AstraZeneca posts lukewarm quarterly results as two candidates get EU approval

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AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) has posted lukewarm quarterly results while two of its candidates have been approved in the EU.

Lynparza got the green light for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

READ: Small chance of vaccine by Christmas says head of Oxford/AstraZeneca trial

It is the first and only PARP inhibitor – a drug stopping PARP proteins from repairing cancer cells – approved in the EU in patients with advanced prostate cancer, who the firm said historically have poor prognosis and few treatment options.

Prostate cancer is the second-most common type of cancer in men, with an estimated 1.3mln new patients diagnosed worldwide in 2018, while 12% of patients have a BRCA mutation addressed by Lynparza.

Meanwhile, Forxiga was approved to treat symptomatic chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction – when the blood being pumped out of the heart is less than the body needs – in adults with and without type-2 diabetes.

It has already been approved in the US for the same indication and is under review in Japan, while Lynparza is also currently approved in several countries for certain types of ovarian, breast and pancreatic tumours.

On track to meet forecasts

In a separate announcement, the FTSE 100 firm said it is on track to achieve full-year results in line with guidance, with total revenue expected to grow by 8-12% and core earnings per share (EPS) to increase by 15-19%.

It is also expecting regulatory decisions on several of its candidates in the months ahead, including the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and cancer drugs Lynparza, Imfinzi and Enhertu.

In the three months to September 30, revenue advanced 3% to US$6.5bn, of which product sales added 6% to US$6.5bn while collaboration revenue tanked 79% to US%58mln. Core EPS were 4% lower at US$0.94.

The pharma giant said the fall in collaboration revenue was due to a strong quarter last year while the second half is usually more weighted to the fourth quarter.

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