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AstraZeneca Drops Moderna-Partnered, Phase 2 Heart Disease Drug Candidate

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  • AstraZeneca Plc (NASDAQ: AZN) has removed a Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA)-partnered cardiovascular disease candidate from its phase 2 pipeline.

  • The Moderna-partnered candidate is AZD8601, a therapy based on mRNA encoding vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A).

  • In EPICCURE Phase 2a trial, the investigators injected the mRNA directly into the myocardium of patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass surgery.

  • Related: AstraZeneca Q2 Highlights: Profits Fall, COVID-19 Vaccine Sales Dip, Lifts Annual Sales Guidance.

  • Seven patients received AZD8601, and four got the placebo.

  • AstraZeneca touted the results as positive, pointing to trends in the three exploratory endpoints, including left ventricular ejection fraction, an elevated biomarker in heart failure, and functional patient-reported outcomes.

  • However, in its quarterly update, AstraZeneca removed the asset from its phase 2 pipeline. Moderna, the co-developer of AZD8601, still lists the candidate in its pipeline.

  • AstraZeneca also removed Wee1 inhibitor adavosertib from its phase 2 pipeline for r ovarian cancer, solid tumors, and uterine serous cancer.

  • Price Action: MRNA shares are up 2.84% at $162.56, and AZN stock is down 0.63% at $66.30 during the market session on the last check Friday.

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