Lynparza improves survival rate in prostate cancer, giving AstraZeneca and Merck another win on PARP front
AstraZeneca and its partners at Merck can tack on another key clinical win for their blockbuster cancer drug star Lynparza. Following up on their success in gaining an important improvement on progression free survival for a segment of advanced prostate cancer patients, the pharma giants say they now have evidence the drug also spurs longer overall survival.
Currently under priority review with an accelerated OK expected soon, the AstraZeneca team reported their score on OS for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who have a homologous recombination repair gene mutation and have progressed on prior treatment with new hormonal agent drugs — like Xtandi (enzalutamide) and Zytiga (abiraterone).
That’s a mouthful, but it’s also a key advance in the field, where this leading PARP has gone from strength to strength in setting the pace for this part of the cancer R&D world. The hard data on just how big an improvement they saw will have to wait for a medical conference somewhere online.
“Overall survival in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer has remained extremely challenging to achieve,” noted AstraZeneca oncology R&D chief José Baselga. “We are thrilled by these results for Lynparza and we are working with regulatory authorities to bring this medicine to patients as soon as possible.”
What’s good for Lynparza could be bad for one of its big rivals. Andrew Berens at SVB Leerink noted:
While approval was widely expected, this overall survival advantage was not anticipated, and we believe should prove to be a significant commercial advantage over competitor Clovis (CLVS, MP), with an upcoming PDUFA date in BRCA+ mCRPC patients on May 15.
There’s more data on the way for this drug, which has played a key role in AstraZeneca’s turnaround under CEO Pascal Soriot. The pharma partners are pursuing the PROpel trial, with first data expected next year, testing Lynparza as a front-line medicine for patients with metastatic CRPC in combination with abiraterone acetate versus abiraterone acetate alone.