Immuno-oncology, Results

AstraZeneca, Merck notch another major Lynparza trial win — this time in pancreatic cancer

AstraZeneca and Merck’s PARP inhibitor Lynparza has chalked up another landmark win.

Months after securing a lightning fast approval for the use of the drug in frontline ovarian cancer — widening their lead over the cluster of other PARPs including Tesaro’s (now GSK’s) Zejula and Clovis’ Rubraca — Lynparza has shown promise in helping patients with BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer live longer without their cancer progressing in a late-stage study.

The 154-patient, placebo-controlled POLO trial showed that Lynparza induced a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival, the companies said, adding that detailed data would be revealed at a future medical meeting.

José Baselga

“This is the first positive Phase III trial of any PARP inhibitor in germline BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer, a devastating disease with critical unmet need. The results of POLO provide further evidence of the clinical benefit of Lynparza across a variety of BRCA-mutated tumour types. We will discuss these results with global health authorities as soon as possible,” said AstraZeneca’s newly appointed oncology chief José Baselga in a statement.

AstraZeneca $AZN is on a turnaround mission under CEO Pascal Soriot, as the British drugmaker prioritizes cancer with its oncology products such as Lynparza, Tagrisso and Imfinzi to help elevate its portfolio of treatments that have been bruised by generic treatments. Lynparza was the first PARP inhibitor to win US approval in 2014. Merck $MRK joined on as partner to expand its use in 2017.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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