Astrazeneca is withdrawing an EU marketing application for a cancer drug

Billy Bambrough
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The European Medicines Agency raised questions over the side effects of the drug (Source: Getty)

Big pharma firm AstraZeneca has been forced to withdraw a marketing application for a new cancer drug, due to disagreements with the European regulator.

The drug Cediranib had been planned to be used in combination with chemotherapy to treat ovarian cancer but concerns over potential side effects raised by the by European Medicines Agency (EMA) have scuppered plans.

The drug was shown to be effective in clinical trials compared with chemotherapy alone.

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In a statement the company said:

The decision to withdraw the MAA was based on outstanding questions raised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) at this late stage of the review process.

This is the second blow in as many months for the Cambridge-based pharma firm's cancer treatment line. In August one of AstraZeneca's new cancer drugs failed at the trial stage.

Experimental drug selumetinib failed to meet its goals – helping patients live longer or prevent the disease from worsening when combined with chemotherapy – in a late-stage trial for lung cancer.