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Lynparza™ approved in the EU as first-in-class treatment for advanced BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer

AstraZeneca announced that the European Commission (EC) has granted Marketing Authorisation for Lynparza™ (olaparib) capsules (400mg twice daily) as the first therapy for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed BRCA-mutated (germline and/or somatic) high grade serous epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete response or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy.

AstraZeneca announced that the European Commission (EC) has granted Marketing Authorisation for Lynparza™ (olaparib) capsules (400mg twice daily) as the first therapy for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed BRCA-mutated (germline and/or somatic) high grade serous epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete response or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy.

Olaparib is a poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor that exploits tumour DNA repair pathway deficiencies to preferentially kill cancer cells. It is the first PARP inhibitor to be approved for patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer. Patients will be identified through a validated diagnostic test.

We are delighted to be able to bring this much needed treatment to patients with BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer whose options are currently very limited. The approval marks a significant milestone in the development of the next generation of targeted medicines,” said Briggs Morrison, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer at AstraZeneca. “We are committed to bringing new treatments to the patients who need them most and this news marks only the first of what we hope will be a number of indications in which Lynparza has the potential to transform the lives of cancer patients, including those with breast, pancreatic and gastric cancers.”

The EC decision is applicable to all 28 EU Member States as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The approval of olaparib was based on data from Study 191, a Phase II clinical trial that evaluated its efficacy and safety compared to placebo in platinum-sensitive relapsed high-grade serous ovarian cancer patients. The study showed that olaparib maintenance therapy significantly prolonged progression free survival (PFS) compared with placebo in patients with BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer: median PFS 11.2 months versus 4.3 months (PFS Hazard Ratio = 0.18; 95% Confidence Interval 0.10–0.31; p<0.0001). The most common adverse events associated with olaparib monotherapy to date were generally mild to moderate and included nausea, vomiting, fatigue and anaemia.

Professor Steve Jackson, scientist at the University of Cambridge, whose research established the basis for olaparib and its clinical potential said: “It is wonderful to learn that olaparib is set to become a licenced drug and will therefore soon become available to advanced ovarian cancer sufferers. I also look forward to learning the results of on-going trials exploring olaparib’s potential for the treatment of other cancers. The announcement highlights how, by collaborating with a partner such as AstraZeneca, basic academic research, such as that carried out by the research team at the University of Cambridge, can lead to major medical developments.”

It is fantastic news that Lynparza will now be available for women with advanced relapsed BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer,” said Dr John Green, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool and Chair, European Network of Gynaecological Cancer Advocacy Groups (ENGAGe). “This is a devastating disease which has a profound impact on patients and their families. Women with a BRCA mutation are especially at risk and there has been a significant need for new treatment options with novel modes of action. The development of a targeted treatment like Lynparza is an excellent example of pioneering research being translated into a treatment that has the potential to transform the lives of patients.”



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