AstraZeneca’s cancer treatment is disappointing as a potential COVID-19 drug



IMAGE FROM FILE.  A sign with the AstraZeneca logo at a corporate facility in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, September 9, 2020. REUTERS / Brian Snyder
IMAGE FROM FILE. A sign with the AstraZeneca logo at a corporate facility in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, September 9, 2020. REUTERS / Brian Snyder

Por Aakash B

Nov. 12 (Reuters) – AstraZeneca’s treatment with Calquence blood cancer failed to improve survival and prevent lung failure in hospital patients with COVID-19 symptoms, the drugmaker said Thursday, citing the study results. in intermediate phase.

The company called the result “disappointing,” but said its other efforts to combat the pandemic – a potential vaccine developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford and an experimental antibody-based treatment – were not affected.

AstraZeneca is one of the big players in the race for a coronavirus vaccine. Pfizer Inc released efficacy data this week that was seen as an important milestone on the way to a global immunization campaign next year.

Calquence belongs to a class of drugs called Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors that can suppress autoimmune diseases, conditions in which the immune system accidentally attacks the body itself.

COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms, including pneumonia, are believed to be suffering from an immune system overreaction known as a cytokine rush.

AstraZeneca wanted to test whether Calquence, which suppresses certain elements of the immune system, can contain this immune response.

The drug, which is already used to treat certain types of blood cancers, is an approved treatment for adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the United States and several other countries.

(Reported by Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in Bengaluru; edited in Spanish by Javier Leira)




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