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Astrazeneca Shares Up As News Of Japan Treatment Approval Comes Through

Analyst Team trader
Updated 27 Mar 2024

Astrazeneca shares end the day firmly in green territory, up 2.9% on the day that news of Japan endorsing a new treatment hit.

A formidable new weapon in the fight against respiratory illness in infants has made its way to Japan, as Beyfortus , a novel single-dose monoclonal antibody designed for the prevention of lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), has been officially approved.

Developed through a partnership between pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) and Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY), Beyfortus stands out as a critical development in paediatric healthcare.

Japan's endorsement of Beyfortus comes as a promising development and results in a new protective alternative for infants entering their first RSV season. Based on an agreement from 2017, AstraZeneca leads the development and manufacturing charge for the antibody, while Sanofi is at the helm of commercialization efforts.


The approval in Japan was achieved on the back of compelling evidence from three pivotal late-stage clinical trials, which illustrated Beyfortus's capability to provide consistent efficacy against RSV LRTD across up to five months. This duration conveniently spans the typical RSV season, highlighting the drug’s potential role in standard preventive care regimens for at-risk populations.

Beyfortus is anticipated to be available for the upcoming 2024/25 RSV season, in line with existing Japanese guidelines. Iskra Reic, Executive Vice President, Vaccines and Immune Therapies, AstraZeneca, said: “The approval of Beyfortus means it is possible for the first time to prevent serious respiratory disease due to RSV for all infants in Japan and reduce the infectious disease burden on healthcare systems.

Beyond Beyfortus, AstraZeneca has also garnered approval in Japan for another significant combination therapy, Truqap (capivasertib) partnered with Faslodex (fulvestrant), targeting advanced HR-positive breast cancer post progression with endocrine therapy. The approval was based on the encouraging outcomes of the CAPItello-291 Phase III trial, where this combination manifested a remarkable 50% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death when compared to Faslodex alone, specifically in the biomarker-altered population.

The financial markets have reacted positively to these recent approvals. AstraZeneca's Nasdaq-listed shares trading up 2.9% through the regular session Wednesday as the news bedded in, underscoring the market's confidence in the company's innovative ventures in drug development.

Sanofi shares on the other hand have not fared so well, with a 0.42% loss to end the day in the red.

Looking to the future, the planned inclusion for 2024/25 RSV season pinpoints a significant stride forward in pre-emptive paediatric care, and could help shine further lights on AZN. We will watch to see how this one opens in the London session, but a very firm finish to the day on Nasdaq.

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The AskTraders Analyst Team features experts in technical and fundamental analysis, as well as traders specializing in stocks, forex, and cryptocurrency.