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Circassia and AstraZeneca to widen scope of COPD inhaler after post-launch trial success

AstraZeneca intends to file for the trial data to be included to widen the marketing label for Turdoza
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Better outcome for COPD sufferers

Circassia Pharma PLC (LON:CIR) and AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) have received more good data from a post-launch study of Turdoza, their inhaler collaboration for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) sufferers.

The drug significantly reduced exacerbations (breathing difficulties, coughing) and led to a better outcome for possible heart disease sufferers, its two primary endpoints.

READ: Circassia Pharmaceuticals launches new test for lung condition PCD

AstraZeneca intends to file for the trial data to be included to widen the marketing label for Turdoza.

The ASCENT phase IV study involved 3,600 patients with moderate to very severe COPD and documented cardiovascular risk factors. 

Cardiovascular disease is the most common and significant comorbidity of COPD, said Circassia and a full evaluation of the ASCENT data is ongoing. 

Circassia is responsible for marketing Turdoza in the US, while Astra is responsible for the clinical studies.  

Steve Harris, Circassia's chief executive, said the results highlighted the product's safety and efficacy, particularly in this group of at-risk patients.  

READ: Circassia Pharmaceuticals soars as Astra collaboration passes final trial

"The ASCENT data demonstrate that Turdoza, when added to background therapy, reduces exacerbation rates in patients with cardiovascular disease or risk factors and adds to the established efficacy and safety profile of aclidinium bromide," added Glaxo's Steve Lewington. 

Smoker’s cough is the common name for COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), an often fatal disease which affects an estimated 329mln people around the world and is the result of lung damage from smoking, pollution and some types of job.

Earlier this year, Circassia and AstraZeneca reported a successful phase III trial for Dualkir, inhaled twice daily, which achieved a substantial improvement in patients’ breathing in people with moderate to severe COPD.

In a note on Circassia, analysts at Numis Securiuties said: “This morning's release strengthens the competitive position of Tudorza, and gives Circassia's sales force more data to help return the product to growth.”

They added: “The shares remain very cheap on 4x EV/Sales and the business is increasingly well placed heading into 2018 with over 80% upside to our DCF-based 180p/sh target price.”

In afternoon trading, Circassia shares were nearly 5%, or 5p higher at 105.75p, while blue chip AstraZeneca was up 0.7%, or 31.5p at 4,798.50p.

 -- Adds analyst comment, share prices --  

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