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Astra reports positive results from stroke, gastric cancer trials

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Monday 27 Jan 2020

(Sharecast News) - AstraZeneca said high-level results from from a phase three trial of its Brilinta drug used in conjunction with aspirin produced a "statistically significant and clinically meaningful" fall in the risk of the primary composite endpoint of stroke and death, compared with aspirin alone.
Trial patients used Brilinta twice daily with aspirin for 30 days, Astra saod on Monday. The THALES trial was conducted in more than 11,000 patients who had a minor acute ischaemic stroke or high-risk transient ischaemic attack in the 24 hours prior to treatment initiation.

Dr Clay Johnston, lead investigator for the THALES trial said: "The risk of having a subsequent stroke is highest in the first few days and weeks after a minor acute ischaemic stroke or high-risk transient ischaemic attack. While an expected increase in bleeding was observed, the findings from THALES showed that Brilinta, in combination with aspirin, reduced the risk of potentially devastating events in this crucial time."

Brilinta is approved in more than 110 countries for the treatment of acute coronary syndrome and in more than 70 countries for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events among high-risk patients who have experienced a heart attack.

Astra also reported that results from a phase two trial of its Enhertu treatment achieved an improvement in objective response rate and overall survival in patients with HER2-positive unresectable or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer.

The company is developing the drug with Daiichi Sankyo and said the trial met its endpoint in objective response rate in patients treated with Enhertu compared to investigator's choice of chemotherapy.

José Baselga, Astra's executive vice-president of oncology research & development, said: "Gastric cancer is usually diagnosed in the advanced stage and patients face markedly high mortality rates, making the need for new therapies especially urgent."

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