AstraZeneca’s blood-thinning drug Brilinta fails clinical trials
AstraZeneca Plc has said today that its blood-thinning drug Brilinta failed to help stroke patients as hoped in a major clinical trial. Brilinta didn’t outperform aspirin in the three-month long test on patients with stroke, dealing a blow to a product viewed as an important driver of future sales and profits.
In a clinical trial dubbed Socrates, Brilinta taken twice daily was compared to a once- daily dose of aspirin in patients with two forms of stroke. Those taking the drug had fewer heart attacks, other stroke or death.
While AstraZeneca said “fewer events” were observed in the patients taking Brilinta, the overall trend from the trial did not reach “statistical significance”.
While this latest trial will not affect the current usage of Brilinta, which accounted for 2.5 per cent of AstraZeneca’s total revenues last year, the results will likely come as a blow to the group as it tries to find alternative sources of income to make up for the loss of market exclusivity in the US this year for its best-selling drug Crestor, an anti-cholesterol statin.
Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot has identified Brilinta as critical to reaching $45 billion in annual revenue by 2023, a goal set in 2014 as AstraZeneca fended off a takeover attempt by Pfizer Inc. The anti-clotting medicine is sold as a treatment after heart attacks, but AstraZeneca is conducting studies intended to expand the population of patients who can take the pill.
The full results of the trial will be presented at a medical conference on stroke.