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AZ's Lynparza shows PARP inhibitor potential in breast cancer

Findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago


AstraZeneca's Lynparza was the first PARP inhibitor to reach the market for BRAC-positive ovarian cancer, and is now the first drug in its class to show effectiveness in breast cancer.

The results of the OLYMPIAD trial were given their first public airing at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago at the weekend after AZ reported the top-line findings in February.

Lynparza (olaparib) significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) in women with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer with a germline BRCA mutation, when compared with standard therapy with capecitabine, vinorelbine or eribulin in the 300-patient trial.

At a median follow-up of 14 months, progression-free survival was 2.8 months longer and the risk for disease progression or death was 42% lower with olaparib monotherapy than with chemotherapy.

The results - which were simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine - "mark the first time a targeted therapy shows benefit over the current standard of care for patients with HER2-negative BRCA-mutated metastatic breast cancer," commented AZ's chief medical officer Sean Bohen.

The data were well-received at ASCO, with the organisation's president - Daniel Hayes - saying: "What's remarkable is that we are now able to not only tailor breast cancer treatment based on the genetic changes in the tumour, but also on the inherited factors driving its development."

BRCA mutations occur in only around 3% of breast cancer cases, but tumours with this genetic profile tend to be hard to treat and typically affect younger women. Currently patients have to rely on chemotherapeutic agents and there is still no consensus on the best regimen to use.

If approved it could expand the market for Lynparza, which brought in $218m in sales last year from its current approved indication in ovarian cancer. AZ's drug was the first PARP inhibitor to reach the market in 2014, but was joined in the US by Clovis Oncology's Rubraca (rucaparib) towards the end of last year and Tesaro's Zejula (niraparib) in March, and saw its US sales contract slightly in the first three months of this year.

Bernstein analyst Timothy Anderson predicted that approval in breast cancer could help Lynparza grow to $684m in 2020, with additional upside potential if further trials in pancreatic and prostate cancer are also positive.

Article by
Phil Taylor

5th June 2017

From: Research



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