LONDON — AstraZeneca said on Monday that a new lung cancer treatment outperformed standard-of-care chemotherapy in a trial, but investors found the results less impressive than anticipated, sending company shares down in early trading.
Based on an interim analysis of a Phase 3 trial, the company said that the drug, datopotamab deruxtecan, led to improvement in progression-free survival in patients non-small cell lung cancer, a primary endpoint of the study. There was also a positive early trend on overall survival, with Susan Galbraith, AstraZeneca’s oncology leader, describing the results as “compelling evidence for the potential role” that the drug could play for patients.
But investors had been hoping for a clearer signal of benefit. Analysts noted that despite the success in progression-free survival, it was not described as a “clinically meaningful” improvement, which, as J.P. Morgan analysts wrote, “we believe the market would have liked to have seen.”