September 4, 2019 / 6:58 AM / 12 days ago

AstraZeneca's Tagrisso gets China OK for type of lung cancer

(Reuters) - AstraZeneca Plc said on Wednesday it had received marketing authorization from China’s National Medical Products Administration for its top-selling drug, Tagrisso, to treat adults with a form of lung cancer.

China approved Tagrisso as a first-line treatment for adults with non-small cell lung cancer patients whose tumors have certain genetic mutations, AstraZeneca said.

Last month, the British drugmaker said a late-stage study showed Tagrisso had significantly helped patients with epidermal growth factor receptor-mutated metastatic non-small cell lung cancer live longer.

The company has moved deeper into cancer therapy through wide-ranging deals, including those for immunotherapy and targeted therapy. Earlier this year, it agreed to a multi-billion dollar oncology deal with Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Co.

Sales from AstraZeneca’s oncology unit soared 57% to $2.17 billion in the second quarter, accounting for 38% of total product sales, with revenue from Tagrisso nearly doubling to $784 million.

AstraZeneca had also raised its product sales forecast for 2019, thanks in part to strong sales of cancer drugs.

(The story corrects to show study in August points to overall survival and not progression free survival in third paragraph.)

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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