AstraZeneca and MSD Expand Use of Oral Ovarian Cancer Drug

AstraZeneca and its partner MSD have announced that the FDA has granted approval to Lynparza as a treatment for several forms of recurrent cancer.

Lynparza (olaparib) is now an oral treatment intended to reduce relapse in patients with recurrent ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer. Before, the drug was only available to patients with ovarian cancer that presented BRCA mutations, known for being a risk factor for breast and ovarian cancer and often associated with more aggressive tumors.

The FDA’s decision to approve the drug is a big win for AstraZeneca, as well as MSD, which joined with a co-development and co-commercialization deal just a few weeks ago with an upfront $1.6Bn (€1.4Bn) payment. The drug was initially developed by KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by AstraZeneca back in 2005.

The decision also puts pressure on other two PARP inhibitor drugs on the market, Clovis Oncology’s Rubraca (rucaparib) and Tesaro’s Zejula (niraparib). They all have the same mechanism of action consisting of blocking DNA repair processes to kill cancer cells.


Image via Palii Yurii / Shutterstock

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