In a big relief for UK-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, the US regulators announced closing of a probe into its new heart drug Brilinta that triggered controversy among the medical experts. Soon after the news of ‘no further probe on Brilinta’ hit headlines, AstraZeneca emerged as the best single gainer on the FTSE 100 on Tuesday.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) decided to close the probe into a study by AstraZeneca, involving 18,000-patient, which was questioned by the medical experts for being biased.
According to the company, the DoJ announced on Tuesday that no further action was planned against the drug.
“We have always had absolute confidence in the integrity of the trial. As one of AstraZeneca’s growth platforms, we are committed to delivering the full potential of this important medicine,” said Pascal Soriot, Chief executive officer of AstraZeneca.
Brilinta was one of the drugs whose prospects was highlighted by AstraZeneca in its defence against the Pfizer bid.
The UK company’s shares have fallen drastically since it rejected a USD 118 billion offer from US group Pfizer in May.
As the news lifted the potential doubts over the drug, the stocks jumped 2.7 percent to £42.01 in heavy volume, while more than 2.8 million shares changing hands in morning trade. The London index rose 0.8 percent to 6,741.25.
“With sentiment turning on a sixpence these days the risk of extreme volatility is still keeping many on the sidelines. Investors hoping for a smooth ride in the coming sessions may be left wanting,” said Mike McCudden, head of derivatives at Interactive Investor.
According to the drug makers, heart medicine Brilinta holds the potential to emerge as a 3.5 billion dollar per year seller. It was introduced into the market in 2011. Brilinta reported 216 million dollars modest sales in the first half of 2014.
AstraZeneca Plc had conducted a PLATO study for Brilinta, which was presented at a medical conference in 2009. The study’s findings called it a successful drug for heart diseases treatment after which it was rolled into the market across the US, Europe and others in 2011. But several medical experts raised questions against various elements of the study, saying process of the study research was not up to the mark.
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