LONDON, March 14 AstraZeneca's ovarian
cancer drug Lynparza slowed disease progression sharply in a
closely watched clinical trial, boosting hopes for a product
that belongs to a novel drug class called PARP inhibitors.
The British drugmaker hopes the data from the SOLO-2 trial
will widen the use of Lynparza and help it keep up with
competitors racing to broaden the use of PARP medicines.
Women with recurrent ovarian cancer and defective BRCA genes
lived a median 19.1 months without their disease worsening when
given Lynparza, against 5.5 months for those on placebo, based
on disease progression assessments carried out by investigators.
When disease progression was measured by central, blinded
review, however, the figure rose to 30.2 months, according to
data presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology annual
meeting on Tuesday.
Lynparza and other PARP inhibitors block enzymes involved in
repairing damaged DNA, thereby helping to kill cancer cells.
AstraZeneca's drug became the first of the new class to
reach the market when it won U.S. approval at the end of 2014,
but it is currently only recommended for fourth-line use. The
latest clinical trial is designed to move it up to second-line
Others with PARP inhibitors include the biotech companies
Clovis, whose drug Rubraca won U.S. approval in
December, and Tesaro, which is awaiting a green light
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by David Clarke)