Economy

Positive lung drug trial opens path to United States market for Circassia

Positive lung drug trial opens path to United States market for Circassia”

Circassia Pharmaceuticals shares rallied nearly 14 per cent after Astrazeneca, its partner, unveiled positive results for a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Circassia acquired the United States rights to Duaklir and monotherapy COPD drug Tudorza from AstraZeneca in April, for up to US$230 million (RM9.7 million) plus royalties, before abandoning its ambition to develop an allergy franchise after a second trial failure.

AstraZeneca and peer Amgen further announced in a separate statement that a mid-stage trial of tezepelumab, co-developed by the two drugmakers, had showed a significant reduction in the annual asthma exacerbation rate compared with placebo in patients with severe, uncontrolled asthma.

Aclidinium monotherapy (Tudorza Pressair) demonstrated non-inferiority (no worse than) to Boehringer Ingelheim's Spiriva Handihaler (tiotropium).

AstraZeneca plans to apply for FDA approval for Duaklir in the first half of 2018, which would be a big win for Circassia after its history of disappointments during the past year. Though not everything is lost, investors surely weren't expecting the company to turn from novel allergy immunotherapies to acquiring rights to late-stage development drugs that only bring an incremental improvement to existing therapies.



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