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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  AstraZeneca plc    AZN   GB0009895292

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UK Health Watchdog Backs Lung Cancer Drug From Roche

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05/10/2012 | 01:16am CET

The U.K.'s health-care watchdog said in final draft guidance Thursday that it is recommending the use of Roche Holding AG's (ROG.VX) Tarceva as a treatment option for advanced-stage lung-cancer patients.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, known as NICE, decides what medicines should be used in the U.K.'s publicly-funded National Health Service. It said the drug--whose chemical name is erlotinib--is a cost-effective use of NHS resources.

NICE, which has already recommended AstraZeneca PLC's (>> AstraZeneca plc) Iressa, or gefitinib, for non-small-cell lung cancer, said that while there isn't any trial data directly comparing the two drugs, clinical specialists say the drugs are "very similar and equally as effective."

"We are pleased to be able to recommend another treatment option for this stage of the disease," said NICE Director Carole Longson.

The watchdog said its decision to back the drug came after it requested more information about it from the Swiss drug maker.

Roche wasn't immediately available for comment.

NICE said the draft guidance is now with consultees, who have the opportunity to appeal against it.

-By Marta Falconi, Dow Jones Newswires; +41 43 443 8043; marta.falconi@dowjones.com

Stocks mentioned in the article : AstraZeneca plc, AstraZeneca plc
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Sales 2016 22 634 M
EBIT 2016 6 153 M
Net income 2016 2 496 M
Debt 2016 11 367 M
Yield 2016 5,19%
P/E ratio 2016 24,95
P/E ratio 2017 24,79
EV / Sales 2016 3,48x
EV / Sales 2017 3,69x
Capitalization 67 430 M
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