AstraZeneca, a medicine that is given to patients with Mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs or abdomen did not extend lives of patients. This medicine is closely been watched but the drug maker still believes that the medicine had a role to play in combination treatments for this rare form of cancer.

Patients with Mesothelioma typically live only nine to twelve months after their initial diagnosis.

Tremelimumab, a trial in improving overall survival in hard-to-treat mesothelioma has been made to patients who had already been treated unsuccessfully with AstraZeneca but the clinical trial failed to meet the goal,said on Monday.

Robert Iannone, the company,s head of immune-oncology said that they were so disappointed when tremelimumab monotheraphy did not demonstrate a survival benefit but however remain confident with this clinical activity.

A combination of tremelimumab with the drug called “durvalumab”, another AstraZeneca’s immune-boosting drug in multiple tumour types including non-small lung cancer is also being tested.

AstraZeneca is relying heavily on new cancer drugs to drive long-term growth and replace sales lost from older products that are going off patent.

Its biggest oncology bets are in the field of immunotherapy, or medicines that boost the body’s natural immune system defences to fight cancerous cells.

However, the British-based group is facing tough competition from various rivals, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, which has pulled ahead in the race to dominate the hot new area of cancer medicine