AstraZeneca-Merck drug Lymparza shows promise in treating pancreatic cancer

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AstraZeneca and MSD Inc, known as Merck & Co., Inc. announced promising results from a late stage study of Lymparza in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Results from the trial showed improvement in progression-free survival. Further details were not released. AstraZeneca employs about 1,500 in Delaware.

José Baselga, executive vice president, research and development, oncology, said: “This is the first positive Phase III trial of any PARP inhibitor in germlineBRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer, a devastating disease with critical unmet need. The results of POLO provide further evidence of the clinical benefit ofLynparzaacross a variety ofBRCA-mutated tumor types. We will discuss these results with global health authorities as soon as possible.”

AstraZeneca and MSD plan to present the full data from the trial at a forthcoming medical meeting.

Shares of AstraZeneca shares have been trading near 52-week highs on positive news involving its R&D efforts.

Lynparza, which is being jointly developed and commercialised by AstraZeneca and MSD, is approved for multiple indications in advanced ovarian cancer and metastatic breast cancer and has been used in over 20,000 patients worldwide.

Pancreatic cancer is the 12th most common cancer worldwide,1with 466,000 new cases in 2018 alone.

With the worst survival rate of the most common cancers,it is the 4th leading cause of cancer death, and less than seven percent of patients survive more than five years after diagnosis. Early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is difficult, as often there are no symptoms.

Around 80 percent of patients are diagnosed at the metastatic stage.

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