PRI­MA vs PAO­LA: GSK and Mer­ck/As­traZeneca square off in a high-pro­file PARP show­down at ES­MO

BARCELONA — Among the many im­por­tant high-pro­file show­downs at ES­MO this year, few will be as close­ly watched as the PARP ri­val­ry be­tween the dom­i­nant team at As­traZeneca/Mer­ck and the feisty un­der­dogs at Glax­o­SmithK­line. And it proved to be the hard­est to call, with two sig­nif­i­cant­ly dif­fer­ent late-stage tri­als re­port­ing out for front­line ovar­i­an can­cer.

In re­cent days we got a chance to ex­am­ine both sides, and the on­ly in­escapable con­clu­sion any­one could reach is that the stan­dard of care in this field is un­der­go­ing a ma­jor change for the bet­ter. Pick­ing a win­ner, though, won’t be so easy.

As­traZeneca and Mer­ck chose to see how a com­bi­na­tion of the lead­ing drug, Lyn­parza, worked with Avastin in treat­ing first­line main­te­nance cas­es. For Glax­o­SmithK­line, ES­MO of­fered a chance for R&D chief Hal Bar­ron to make his case for pos­i­tive Phase III da­ta for Ze­ju­la, which they ac­quired in their $5 bil­lion Tesaro buy­out.

GSK’s bot­tom line for their PRI­MA study:

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