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The results from a long-awaited AstraZeneca trial that tested a combination treatment in lung cancer patients are “crushing,” as one Wall Street analyst put it. The stock is down roughly 15 percent today and the outcome is raising doubts about the ability of the drug maker to forge an independent path.

The MYSTIC trial, as it is known, found that a pair of immunotherapies proved no more effective than chemotherapy at halting tumor growth in newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancer patients. The company will continue following patients in the study in hopes the combination will help them live longer than chemotherapy alone. The overall survival results are expected in the first half of next year, but this appears to be a reduced opportunity.


So how bad is it, really? Here’s what some of the wags are saying:

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  • …unbelievable, Ed, still the Pfizer apologist? After so many years? What has AZ done to you to make you hate them so so much? Very strange journalism.

    Hope AZ (and all other non-Pfizer companies) will live on an prosper without murderous kiss-of-death “mergers”….

    • Hi Keiner,

      Good to hear from you, although not sure what you mean by some of your remarks.

      I’ve never been a Pfizer ‘apologist,’ at least not that I can recall. Can you be more specific? As well, I do not ‘hate’ AstraZeneca or its management.

      Simply because I point out that Soriot and his team rejected the Pfizer bid does mean that I believe they should have accepted. I did not write that at the time and did not do so in this latest post.

      But like it or not, the chain of events does place more pressure on AZN management now, which is simply the way it is. This is not to say a merger is the way to go – and I did not advocate for that, either. I did not express an opinion in this instance. Rather, I noted what a few analysts are conveying.

      Why? I thought some readers may find it interesting to know what a few analysts are saying about the company and its prospects. It does not mean they are correct or mostly correct, but they can have insights others do not. If nothing else, it amounts to ‘food for thought’ or fodder for debate, if you prefer.

      In any event, hope this finds you well,
      ed at pharmalot

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