Circassia share price jumps as AstraZeneca COPD drug passes efficacy test

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The product is now on track to hit the US market (Source: Getty)

Shares in biopharmaceutical company Circassia jumped more than 14 per cent today after a lung drug which combats the cause of smoker's cough passed its final test of effectiveness.

The drug, called Duaklir, is made by pharmaceuticals firm AstraZeneca, which also received a boost on the stock market, climbing 2.6 per cent today.

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The drug was shown to improve lung function, countering the effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which causes sufferers to find it difficult to empty air from their lungs due to narrow airways.

Circassia holds the commercial rights to Duaklir, and the clearance of this final stage opens up the possibility of putting it on the US market.

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AstraZeneca said it was likely to submit the drug to US regulators for approval in the first half of 2018.

Steve Harris, Circassia's chief executive, said: "We are delighted with these positive phase III results and believe Duaklir® has the potential to provide a valuable treatment option for COPD patients in the United States."

This comes as yet another piece of good news for UK pharmaceuticals, just a week after the British life sciences industry was promised a boost as the government detailed part of its industrial strategy, with the aim of making the UK a world leader in the field.

It has also been abusy time for AstraZeneca, which has signed a flurry of deals and promised more UK investment on the past few months, most recently signing a $400m deal with Japan's Takeda for a Parkinson's treatment.

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