Shares in AstraZeneca jumped nearly five per cent this morning, boosted by a successful trial of one of its lung cancer drugs.
The pharma giant said research had shown drug durvalumab, which will be sold under the brand name Imfinzi, reduces the risk of late-stage lung cancer getting worse.
AstraZeneca is in active discussions with authorities over regulatory approval for the drug: a successful launch will lead to the firm netting billions of dollars in sales.
Sean Bohen, chief medical officer at AstraZeneca, said:
These are highly encouraging results for patients with locally-advanced lung cancer for whom surgery is not an option.
We look forward to working with regulatory authorities around the world to bring Imfinzi to lung cancer patients as soon as possible.
Stage three lung cancer affected an estimated 100,000 patients in the G7 countries in 2016. About half of these patients have tumours that cannot be removed. The prognosis is poor and long-term survival rates are low, the company said.
AstraZeneca recently received accelerated approval from the US authorities to use Imfinzi in previously treated patients with advanced bladder cancer.