Drug Development

AstraZeneca’s PARP drug Lynparza easily outscores chemo in PhIII breast cancer study

Sean Bohen, AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca appears ready to start broadening the market for its PARP inhibitor Lynparza. ASCO organizers picked the pharma giant’s Phase III data for HER-2 negative metastatic breast cancer for the Sunday spotlight. And it’s not hard to see why.

The drug was linked with tumor shrinkage in 60% of the patients with germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations taking the drug, compared to 29% in the chemo group.

Analyzing the latest data on Lynparza, investigators found a 42% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death.

The top line success was announced back in February.

The data give AstraZeneca $AZN a chance to get an early start over Clovis’ Rubraca and Tesaro’s Zejula in moving beyond the ovarian cancer market. The results also underscore the pharma giant’s growing success in the cancer field — crucial to its longterm turnaround plans — with the approval of their PD-L1 drug Imfinzi (durvalumab) recently and looming results for a combination of that checkpoint with tremelimumab, a CTLA-4 therapy.

Notes AstraZeneca CMO Sean Bohen:

“The OlympiAD results shared today mark the first time a targeted therapy shows benefit over the current standard of care for patients with HER2-negative gBRCA-mutated metastatic breast cancer. This also represents an important milestone for Lynparza as this is the first positive Phase III trial in which a PARP inhibitor has shown a significant benefit for patients outside of ovarian cancer.”


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