Watch out Ab­b­Vie and J&J, As­traZeneca just took an­oth­er big swing at one of your star can­cer drug fran­chis­es

As­traZeneca re­port­ed Tues­day that its BTK con­tender Calquence (acal­abru­ti­nib) aced a Phase III tri­al as a sec­ond-line ther­a­py for chron­ic lym­pho­cyt­ic leukemia pa­tients, al­low­ing re­searchers to call it ear­ly as they po­si­tion this drug for green­er pas­tures. 

We won’t get the da­ta un­til lat­er in the year, but the UK phar­ma gi­ant $AZN says they nailed sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant re­sults on pro­gres­sion-free sur­vival com­pared to a con­trol group get­ting a com­bo of rit­ux­imab plus physi­cian’s choice of ide­lal­is­ib or ben­damus­tine. And José Basel­ga, the com­pa­ny’s on­col­o­gy re­search chief, says this is the first time a monother­a­py has proven su­pe­ri­or to a stan­dard of care in this seg­ment of the pop­u­la­tion.

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