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Max Nisen

AstraZeneca's Catch-Up Strategy is Falling Behind

Rejiggering trials isn't enough; it's time for a bigger-picture rethink.

The fallout from Merck's cancer-treatment coup continues.

Merck & Co. Inc. stunned pharma last week with news its combination of an immune-boosting cancer drug and chemotherapy may get early FDA approval to treat lung cancer. Now it seems this development might hurt AstraZeneca PLC's efforts to quickly gain relevance in immune-oncology (IO), one of its biggest potential growth avenues. On Tuesday, Astra announced changes to a key IO clinical trial that may further delay its market arrival and curtail its opportunity.