LONDON May 15 Sales forecasts for AstraZeneca's
all-important new cancer immunotherapy drug Imfinzi are
set to rise after the drugmaker received an unexpectedly early
boost for the medicine in lung cancer last week.
Consensus sales forecast compiled before Friday's news of
the drug's success in stage III lung cancer had put AstraZeneca
well behind rivals in the multibillion-dollar immuno-oncology
race, Thomson Reuters data shows. (tmsnrt.rs/2pOcvj9)
Success in the stage III setting now adds an annual sales
opportunity that analysts estimate is worth about $2 billion -
and the British drugmaker also has an important lead of two to
three years over rivals in this particular area.
There is still plenty to fight for between AstraZeneca and
its main rivals, Merck & Co, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Imfinzi's success in non-metastatic disease does not
guarantee a positive result for AstraZeneca's big MYSTIC trial,
where Imfinzi is being tested in combination with another drug
in stage IV non-small cell lung cancer that has already spread
beyond the lungs. Those results are due by mid-year.
Merck's Keytruda, Bristol's Opdivo and Roche's Tecentriq are
all currently approved in such metastatic disease, representing
a large market, since many lung cancer patients will already
have reached stage IV by the time they are diagnosed.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by Pritha Sarkar)