AstraZeneca reveals positive results for cancer drug

Drugs giant AstraZeneca has revealed positive results for a new cancer drug.

Bosses said Phase Three trials of Lynparza, a treatment for pancreatic cancer in a joint venture with US pharma business Merck, had shown that patients on the drug went 7.4 months without their illness worsening compared with 3.8 months for those on a placebo.

Jose Baselga, of AstraZeneca’s oncology research department, said: “These unprecedented results raise new hope for patients that have seen little progress over a long period of time.

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“From as early as six months after initiation, more than twice as many patients taking Lynparza lived without progression of their disease compared to those on placebo and we are now working with regulatory authorities to bring Lynparza to patients as quickly as possible.”

Less than 3% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive more than five years and AstraZeneca hopes the new drug could mark a change in the field.

Hedy L Kindler MD, co-principal investigator of the trial and Professor of Medicine at University of Chicago Medicine, said: “Despite efforts to identify therapies, targeted or combination treatments to improve patient outcomes, pancreatic cancer remains an area of high unmet need.”

AstraZeneca has been trying to catch up in the cancer drug market and has focused recent attentions on medicines that help in early stage cancer diagnoses.