AstraZeneca PLC - Lynparza approved in the EU for pancreatic cancer
Lynparza approved in the EU for BRCA-
mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer
Only PARP inhibitor approved in this disease
Pancreatic cancer is a rare, life-threatening disease with the lowest survival rate among the most common cancers.1 Approximately 5-7% of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer have a germline BRCA mutation.2
The approval by the
The POLO trial demonstrated that Lynparza nearly doubled the time patients with gBRCAm metastatic pancreatic cancer lived without disease progression or death to a median of 7.4 months versus 3.8 months on placebo. The safety and tolerability profile of Lynparza in the trial was consistent with previous trials.
Lynparza is indicated as monotherapy for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with germline BRCA1/2 mutations
Lynparza is approved in the US and several other countries as a 1st-line maintenance treatment for patients with gBRCAm metastatic pancreatic cancer based on the Phase III POLO trial, with ongoing regulatory reviews in other regions.
Pancreatic cancer is a deadly cancer with a high unmet medical need. Globally, pancreatic cancer is the 11th-most commonly occurring cancer and the seventh leading cause of cancer death.3,4 There were approximately 460,000 new cases worldwide in 2018.1 As there are often no symptoms, or symptoms may be non-specific in the early stages, it is most commonly diagnosed at an incurable stage.5,6
Around 80% of pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed when the disease has metastasised, at which point average survival is less than a year.7 Despite advances, few improvements have been made in diagnosis and treatment in the past few decades.8 Current treatment is surgery (for which approximately only 10-20% of patients are eligible), chemotherapy and radiotherapy, highlighting a critical unmet medical need for more effective treatment options.9
POLO is a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, multi-centre Phase III trial of Lynparza tablets (300mg twice daily) as maintenance monotherapy versus placebo. The trial randomised 154 patients with gBRCAm metastatic pancreatic cancer whose disease had not progressed on 1st-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Patients were randomised (3:2) to receive Lynparza or placebo until disease progression. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival and key secondary endpoints included overall survival, time to second disease progression, overall response rate and health-related quality of life.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 (breast cancer susceptibility genes 1/2) are human genes that produce proteins responsible for repairing damaged DNA and play an important role in maintaining the genetic stability of cells. When either of these genes is mutated, or altered, such that its protein product either is not made or does not function correctly, DNA damage may not be repaired properly, and cells become unstable. As a result, cells are more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that can lead to cancer.
Lynparza (olaparib) is a first-in-class PARP inhibitor and the first targeted treatment to block DNA damage response (DDR) in cells/tumours harbouring a deficiency in homologous recombination repair, such as mutations in BRCA1 and/or BRCA2. Inhibition of PARP with Lynparza leads to the trapping of PARP bound to DNA single-strand breaks, stalling of replication forks, their collapse and the generation of DNA double-strand breaks and cancer cell death. Lynparza is being tested in a range of PARP-dependent tumour types with defects and dependencies in the DDR pathway.
Lynparza is currently approved in a number of countries, including those in the EU, for the maintenance treatment of platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer. It is approved in the US, the EU,
Lynparza, which is being jointly developed and commercialised by AstraZeneca and MSD, has been used to treat over 30,000 patients worldwide. Lynparza has the broadest and most advanced clinical trial development programme of any PARP inhibitor, and AstraZeneca and MSD are working together to understand how it may affect multiple PARP-dependent tumours as a monotherapy and in combination across multiple cancer types. Lynparza is the foundation of AstraZeneca's industry-leading portfolio of potential new medicines targeting DDR mechanisms in cancer cells.
The AstraZeneca and MSD strategic oncology collaboration
AstraZeneca in oncology
AstraZeneca has a deep-rooted heritage in oncology and offers a quickly growing portfolio of new medicines that has the potential to transform patients' lives and the Company's future. With six new medicines launched between 2014 and 2020, and a broad pipeline of small molecules and biologics in development, the Company is committed to advance oncology as a key growth driver for AstraZeneca focused on lung, ovarian, breast and blood cancers. In addition to AstraZeneca's main capabilities, the Company is actively pursuing innovative partnerships and investment that accelerate the delivery of our strategy, as illustrated by the investment in
By harnessing the power of four scientific platforms - Immuno-Oncology, Tumour Drivers and Resistance, DNA Damage Response and Antibody Drug Conjugates - and by championing the development of personalised combinations, AstraZeneca has the vision to redefine cancer treatment and, one day, eliminate cancer as a cause of death.
AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/NYSE: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in
1. Pancreatic Cancer
2. Golan et al. (2020). Geographic and Ethnic Heterogeneity of Germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutation Prevalence Among Patients With Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer Screened for Entry Into the POLO Trial.
5. Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Available at: www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/information-and-support/facts-about-pancreatic-cancer/signs-and-symptoms-of-pancreatic-cancer/ [Accessed June 2020].
6. DaVee (2018). Pancreatic cancer screening in high-risk individuals with germline genetic mutations. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 87(6), pp.1443-1450.
7. Azar et al. (2019). Treatment and survival rates of stage IV pancreatic cancer at
8. Sheahan et al. (2018). Targeted therapies in the management of locally advanced and metastatic pancreatic cancer: a systematic review. Oncotarget. 9(30): 21613-21627.
9. Stunt, A. (2016). Pancreatic cancer: GPs can help prognosis by identifying early signs. Guidelines in Practice. Available at: www.guidelinesinpractice.co.uk/cancer/pancreatic-cancer-gps-can-help-prognosis-by-identifying-early-signs/352855.article [Accessed June 2020].
This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the
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