Drugmaker shares rally on US cancer ruling over Zantac

Shares in British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline and French peer Sanofi jumped Wednesday after a US court dismissed claims that heartburn drug Zantac caused cancer.

GSK won eight percent and Sanofi gained six percent following Tuesday’s judgement regarding over-the-counter Zantac.

“Shareholders in pharmaceutical giant GSK got some timely pain relief with news that it, plus its peers Pfizer and Sanofi, had successfully defeated thousands of lawsuits suggesting the heartburn drug Zantac caused cancer,” noted AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

“While there is some risk of an appeal, and there are other cases outstanding, GSK will be sitting a lot more comfortably than it was before this judgement was handed down.”

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, GSK said it “welcomes yesterday’s ruling”, adding it “ensured that unreliable and litigation-driven science did not enter the federal courtroom”.

Zantac, whose active ingredient is ranitidine, was removed from the North American market in 2019.