AstraZeneca wins FDA breakthrough status for key cancer drug

 (Copyright Reuters 2015)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted breakthrough therapy designation to AstraZeneca's biggest new drug hope durvalumab as a treatment in bladder cancer, the drugmaker said on Wednesday.

The experimental medicine is a so-called PD-L1 therapy that fights cancer by boosting the immune system.

Breakthrough therapy designation expedites the development and review of medicines intended to treat serious or life-threatening diseases.

Durvalumab is also being developed as a treatment for lung, head and neck, gastric, pancreatic, liver and blood cancers. It faces competition from rival products made by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck and Roche.

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