AstraZeneca stops development of new drug

AstraZeneca stops drug development

AstraZeneca stops drug development

British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc. has said today that it is halting further development of its one of new drugs and will write-off $445 million (£286 million) in development costs.

The UK based group said it will discontinue the development of the drug Motavizumab for the treatment of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). However, it will continue working on other applications of the drug.

The latest news comes four days after the USFDA delayed the approval of its heart treatment drug Brilinta, citing insufficient data.  The company said it will take the charge in its fourth quarter and said the earnings forecast remain unchanged for the year.

Motavizumab prevents serious lung infection caused by the RS virus, one of the leading causes of infant hospitalization in the US. According to studies conducted by AstraZeneca, Respiratory Syncytial Virus infection affects 125,000 infants each year and causes 500 deaths annually. The company is weighing other options for the drug, after USFDA expressed concern over side-effects and asked for more data.

In early trade at the London Stock Exchange, AZ rose by 0.4 percent to 2949p.

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