AstraZeneca’s Lynparza greatly reduced the risk of ovarian cancer worsening in a phase III trial, helping the drugmaker take the lead against two U.S. rivals in the same class.
Given as a maintenance therapy to reinforce initial chemotherapy, Lynparza halted or reversed tumor growth in 60 percent of patients three years into the trial. At year four, the progression-free survival (PFS) rate in the Lynparza group was still above 50 percent, against 11 percent for chemotherapy alone.
Lynparza, which is being developed and marketed with Merck & Co under a deal struck last year, is already approved for later use in patients with BRCA mutations and for a certain type of breast cancer. The drug was the first PARP inhibitor to reach the market when it won U.S. approval at the end of 2014.
In terms of rivals, Clovis Oncology’s Rubraca has been approved for ovarian cancer after initial chemotherapy has failed and Tesaro expects to report trial results for first-line use of its Zejula drug for ovarian cancer next year.
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