Shares in pharma giant AstraZeneca plunge more than 15% after lung cancer drug trial setback

LONDON — Shares in the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca are dropping fast on Thursday morning after the company announced that a trial of a new drug for treating lung cancer had not produced the expected results.

In an update to the stock market, the company — which makes many widely used clinical drugs, including anaesthetics and diabetes treatments — said that initial results of the study, known as “Mystic,” showed that the medicines did not “meet the primary endpoint” intended from the trial.

The trial featured an immunotherapy drug, which AstraZeneca hopes will be able to be used as an alternative to chemotherapy in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer in future, but results were disappointing.

The setback has also proved a major negative for investors in the Anglo-Swedish firm, and the company’s stock has plummetted as a result.

By just before 8.25 a.m. BST (3.25 a.m. ET) the FTSE 100-listed stock is down more than 15%, as the chart below illustrates. If shares stay roughly where they are, the company will have its worst day on the FTSE since listing in 1993:

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