AstraZeneca fails endpoint
Enlarge image


AstraZeneca fails endpoint

08.04.2013 - AstraZeneca's arthritis pill fostamatinib is proven inferior to competitor drugs in a late-stage clinical trial.

While the first-in-class oral rheumatoid (RA) arthritis drug proved to be efficient as measured by ACR20 reponse it failed to halt the progression of joint damage as compared with placebo in the OSKIRA-1 Phase III study. In December, fastamatinib was shown to be inferior in efficacy compared to Abbvie’s injectible RA blockbuster antibody Humira (adalimumab),reducing its ability to compete in the US$20bn-plus RA market. AstraZeneca’ RA pill also increased blood pressure and led to diarrhea.

"Our misgiving is that fostamatinib appears to be inferior to Humira on efficacy and now the adverse events seem to pitch it below Pfizer's Xeljanz, (– another RA pill in late-stage development –) so it is hard to see where the product will fit," said Panmure Gordon analyst Savvas Neophytou.

AstraZeneca, which currently announced the restructuring of its R&D, licensed fostamatinib in 2010 from Rigel Pharmaceuticals. However, after the current study results, analysts forecasted only low fostamatinib sales, averaging just US$171m in 2016. Humira, by contrast, has annual worldwide sales of more than $9 billion but has become under pressure by new RA drugs such as Roche’s RoActemra.

With last year's loss of exclusivity on schizophrenia drug Seroquel, and Nexium for stomach acid and cholesterol fighter Crestor set for U.S. patent expiries in 2014 and 2016, AstraZeneca faces one of the industry's steepest "cliffs" of patent expiries.



24.11.2015 After weeks of speculation it is official: US pharma major Pfizer and Irish Botox maker Allergan will merge. With the deal, Pfizer is planning to dodge the high US taxes, causing indignation among US politicians.


23.11.2015 Amidst talk of the IPO window closing and cancelled flotations, diagnostics firms are still striking a chord with investors. Swedish Immunovia and German Curetis are successfully raising public money.


20.11.2015 French Sanofi and British AstraZeneca are giving open innovation a go: The two pharma giants will exchange thousands of compounds – for free.


19.11.2015 French gene editing company Cellectis has granted Servier the rights to bring cancer immunotherapy UCART19 to market. Servier in turn has teamed up with Pfizer to hurry development along.


17.11.2015 The first Italian accelerator specifically for biotech projects has been launched with help from Sofinnova Partners. The plan of BiovelocITA: to help Italy grow into one of Europe’s strongest biotech markets.


13.11.2015 Scientists in Bath, UK, have developed a medical dressing that turns fluorescent green when it detects infection. The researchers hope that the smart burns dressing will help fight antibiotic resistance.


13.11.2015 Out with the old: Roche is discarding four sites with 1,200 staff in an effort to restructure its manufacturing network for small molecules. Instead, a new manufacturing site will be built in Switzerland.


10.11.2015 Algae have many skills, but cancer fighting was not one of them – until now. Researchers from Australia and Germany have genetically engineered diatom algae to accurately deliver chemotherapeutic drugs.


10.11.2015 AstraZeneca has plucked Californian biopharma company ZS Pharma from under Actelion’s nose. The UK company is paying US$2.7bn (€2.5bn) to acquire ZS and its promising hyperkalaemia treatment currently under US regulatory review.


04.11.2015 What biotech stock market slump? Despite all odds, 2015 is set to become a new record year for the European public biotech sector, according to a BIOCOM-study presented at BIO Europe in Munich.


All Events


Strasbourg (F)

BioFIT 2015

Current issue

All issues

Product of the week


Stock list

All quotes


  • THERAMETRICS (CH)0.05 CHF25.00%
  • MOLOGEN (D)4.10 EUR13.89%


  • DIAMYD MEDICAL -B- (S)8.75 SEK-5.91%
  • IMMUNICUM AB (S)40.60 SEK-5.80%
  • CELLECTIS (F)29.57 EUR-5.07%


  • PLETHORA (UK)5.50 GBP76.3%
  • PROTHENA PLC (IE)73.20 USD46.1%
  • CELLECTIS (F)29.57 EUR27.9%


  • EPIGENOMICS (D)1.84 EUR-59.3%
  • EVOCUTIS (UK)0.10 GBP-33.3%


  • KARO BIO (S)37.50 SEK5181.7%
  • CHRONTECH PHARMA (S)0.34 SEK1600.0%
  • GALAPAGOS (B)44.82 EUR249.1%


  • BIOTEST (D)15.03 EUR-81.4%
  • NEOVACS (F)0.72 EUR-79.1%

No liability assumed, Date: 25.11.2015