As­traZeneca writes off its sec­ond piv­otal COPD tri­al for Fasen­ra, killing ex­pan­sion plans

You can write off any up­side As­traZeneca’s res­pi­ra­to­ry drug Fasen­ra (ben­ral­izum­ab) may have had left on COPD.

The drug, ap­proved last fall for a se­vere form of asth­ma, just failed the sec­ond of two Phase III stud­ies, pro­vid­ing some de­fin­i­tive proof that it can’t help COPD pa­tients — or of­fer added re­lief to As­traZeneca’s $AZN suf­fer­ing bot­tom line.

The set­back will of­fer added en­cour­age­ment to Glax­o­SmithK­line $GSK, which has been ag­gres­sive­ly ex­pand­ing its work with the ri­val first-in-class drug Nu­cala, which is now look­ing to add a COPD ap­proval — even though it on­ly scored mixed re­sults in Phase III. Fasen­ra al­so com­petes with Cinqair from Te­va and Xo­lair from No­var­tis

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