AstraZeneca (AZN) Confirms FDA Partial Clinical Hold Placed on Patient Recruitment for MEDI4736 Trial in HNSCC; Issues Commentary

October 27, 2016 2:47 PM EDT

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AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) issued the following statement following news that recruitment for its study of MEDI4736 (Durvaluma) in head and neck cancer was halted:

Following the recent update on clinicaltrials.gov, AstraZeneca confirms that the US FDA has placed a partial clinical hold on the enrolment of new patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in clinical trials of durvalumab as monotherapy and in combination with tremelimumab or other potential medicines. All trials are continuing with existing patients.

The partial clinical hold on new patient enrolment relates only to head and neck cancer. Trials for durvalumab in different cancer types, as monotherapy or in combination with tremelimumab or other potential medicines, are progressing as planned, with pivotal data in lung cancer anticipated in the first half of 2017.

The FDA’s decision follows voluntary action by AstraZeneca to pause enrolment of new HNSCC patients while a detailed analysis is conducted of adverse events related to bleeding that were observed as part of routine safety monitoring of the Phase III KESTREL and EAGLE trials. Bleeding is a known complication in treatments of head and neck cancers primarily due to the nature of the underlying disease, the proximity of tumours to major blood vessels and use of prior cancer therapies, which may involve surgery and radiation.

AstraZeneca has submitted its analysis of the observed bleeding events to the FDA for review and is working closely with the Agency, providing the required information to resume new patient enrolment as soon as possible.



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