<a href=AstraZeneca‘s headquarters in London, UK.” height=”206″ src=”https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/wp-content/uploads/static-progressive/AstraZeneca-Headquarters.jpg” style=”padding: 10px” width=”300″ />UK-based pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has been hit by further disappointments in its drug development efforts, announcing a $381.5m charge in the fourth quarter following poor results from two new drugs.

The company announced that olaparib, a PARP inhibitor under investigation for the treatment of ovarian cancer, will not progress into Phase III studies following an interim review of the drug’s performance in Phase II.

The analysis showed that a previously reported progression-free survival benefit would be unlikely to develop into overall survival benefit, and the company was unsuccessful in identifying a suitable tablet dose for the drug.

AstraZeneca’s TC-5214 compound, partnered with Targacept, did not meet the primary endpoint of its second of four Phase III studies, following the failure in its first trial announced last month.

The separate blows come just after the company’s breast cancer treatment Faslodex was snubbed by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which deemed it as an inefficient use of NHS resources.

Despite the company’s announcement of the research and development charges, which comprise of $285m for olaparib and $96.5m for TC-5214, AstraZeneca still expects to reach its target earnings for 2011, but has been hit by a share slide as a result.

Shares slumped 86.25p to 2,862.75p as a result of the announcement, making the pharmaceutical company the worst blue chip performer of the morning’s trading.

Caption: AstraZeneca’s headquarters in London, UK.