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AstraZeneca expects $100m writedown as drug fails heart-disease testing

By Ramla Soni

The drugs manufacturer said it would discontinue running trials on the drug Epanova and that it would review its $533m value on the company’s balance sheet

AstraZeneca is in line for a $100m impairment following trials showed a heart-disease drug to be ineffective in treating particular conditions.

The drugs manufacturer said it would discontinue running trials on the drug called Epanova and that it would review its $533m value on the company’s balance sheet.

Epanova is used in the US to treat hypertriglyceridaemia, a condition which involves high levels of certain fats, known as triglycerides, in the bloodstream.

The condition is often a warning of heart disease.

The company said this decision was based on a recommendation by an independent monitoring committee, which said that Epanova is “unlikely to demonstrate a benefit to patients” with mixed dyslipidaemia who are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

AstraZeneca bought Epanova through its 2013 purchase of Omthera Pharmaceuticals.

The firm said the trial results would have no bearing on the drug’s use in treating severe hypertriglyceridaemia.

Separately, the company said Lynparza (a drug to treat advanced ovarian cancer) was granted priority review in the US and a fee will be collected in the second quarter of 2020 to fund the new drug approval process.

Despite the loss, AstraZeneca’s shares were 0.1 per cent up this morning, valued at 7,652p.

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