AstraZeneca shares rockets after Brilinta drug gives promise of future brillianceComments Off on AstraZeneca shares rockets after Brilinta drug gives promise of future brilliance
Shares rose 50.5p — 1.07% — to 4767.25p, after a clinical trial of 21,000 patients found that Brilinta — which prevents blood clotting and which AstraZeneca reckons could hit annual sales of £2 billion — cuts the risk of death or heart attack in patients with a history of previous attacks more than 12 months after their first episode.
Astra’s boss, Pascal Soriot, had named Brilinta as crucial for the pharma giant to hit his target — set during the takeover battle — of annual revenues of $45 billion (£29.6 billion) by 2023.
The City reckoned that was a tough ask, as Brilinta’s sales in the first nine months of last year were only $343 million, and analysts said the pill would only become a best-seller if it reached a wider range of patients.
Now the latest trials suggest the blood-thinning drug benefits patients more than a year after they have suffered a heart attack, suggesting users could take Brilinta for longer.
The findings could more than double the number of people eligible to use the medicine.
At present, patients recovering from a heart attack tend to take anti-clotting drugs such as the generic alternative to Plavix, which was developed by Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb, for about 12 months after an attack, before moving onto aspirin.