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AstraZeneca's Lynparza Delivers Progression-Free Survival of Over 4 Years in Advanced Ovarian Cancer

By Todd Campbell – Sep 18, 2020 at 3:27PM

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The latest results from a long-term study of the drug enhance the case for its use.

AstraZeneca (AZN 0.10%) and Merck's (MRK 1.06%) drug Lynparza was approved for use as maintenance therapy in BRCA-positive, advanced ovarian cancer patients in 2018; on Friday, the healthcare companies unveiled long-term trial data that could increase its use in those patients.

Specifically, five-year follow-up data from a trial evaluating Lynparza in patients with mutations to their BRCA gene who also responded to platinum-based therapy showed that the drug reduces the risk of disease progression by 67% compared to placebo.

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Although patients enrolled in the Solo-1 trial were given Lynparza for just two years, median progression-free survival (PFS) in those patients reached 56 months. In patients receiving a placebo, median PFS was only 13.8 months

The FDA's label expansion for Lynparza to include its use as maintenance therapy in advanced ovarian cancer was based on three-year data showing 60% of patients receiving it were progression-free at three years, compared to 27% of patients taking a placebo. At the five-year mark, 48.3% of Lynparza patients were still free from disease progression versus 20.5% in the placebo arm.

The updated results could help boost Lynparza's competitiveness with similar drugs, including GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK 0.23%) Zejula. In April, the FDA approved Zejula for maintenance use by advanced ovarian cancer patients following platinum-based therapy, regardless of BRCA mutation status.

Sales of Lynparza, which is also approved for use in amenable patients with metastatic breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer, were $816 million through the first six months of 2020, up 57% year over year.

Todd Campbell has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. His clients may have positions in the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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