Wednesday 28 August 2019 12:36 pm

Astrazeneca gets boost as good news comes in pairs

Astrazeneca got a double immune boost today as one of its drugs was given orphan status in the US, while trials of a pulmonary medicine showed positive results.

The firm said its medicine Fasenra was granted special status as an orphan drug in the US. Orphans are medicines that treat rare diseases.

Read more: Astrazeneca faces setback in lung cancer trials

The category is designed to encourage drugmakers to develop products that would otherwise not be commercially viable as there are too few patients. Governments offer a variety of incentives, including a monopoly on the drug and reduction in fees.

Fasenra treats eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE), a chronic disease which causes injury and inflammation in the oesophagus.

Separately, the company today announced that late-stage trials of a drug on very sick patients with pulmonary disease had progressed well.

Trials of Breztri Aerosphere showed a statistically significant drop in the date of moderate or severe exacerbations when compared to other methods.

“Exacerbations are devastating events for patients and can lead to a permanent loss of lung function,” said Mene Pangalos at Astrazeneca.

However, Graham Doyle, an analyst at Liberum, said the news was not “that material to the investment case” in Astrazeneca.

Read more: Heart patients given boost by Astrazeneca drug trials

The news follows a series of pieces of good news for Astrazeneca, pushing its share price up more than 13 per cent in the last two months.

Shares were trading up around one per cent today to 7,308p.