AstraZeneca halts studies combining AZD9291, durvalumab in lung cancer

AstraZeneca spokeswoman Esra Erkal-Paler said Friday that the company temporarily halted two trials combining the experimental drugs AZD9291 and durvalumab, also known as MEDI4736, in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.

Erkal-Paler noted that the decision was taken after an increase in the incidence of interstitial lung disease-like reports in the late-stage CAURAL and early-stage TATTON studies. Erkal-Paler added that patients enrolled in the trials will be given updated consent forms so they understand the new information and make a decision on whether to continue participation.

AstraZeneca estimates that AZD9291, which was submitted to the FDA earlier this year, could generate peak annual sales of $3 billion, while the anti-PD-L1 therapy durvalumab could garner revenue of $6.5 billion a year. However, Goldman Sachs analyst Terence Flynn said the news may limit the company's ability to combine AZD9291 with other drugs and benefit Clovis Oncology, which is developing the similar therapy rociletinib. For related analysis, see Physician Views Poll Results: Clovis, AstraZeneca battling in resistant NSCLC – who has the upper hand?

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