AstraZeneca discontinues development of RSV drug

LONDON — An Anglo-Swedish drug maker said it is discontinuing further development of a drug that is designed to prevent a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages.

AstraZeneca has requested the withdrawal of its pending biological license application for motavizumab from the Food and Drug Administration. Motavizumab is an investigational monoclonal antibody that could prevent serious respiratory syncytial virus disease.

AstraZeneca said it will incur a financial impairment charge of $445 million in fourth quarter 2010.