AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., US (Merck: known as MSD outside the US and Canada) today presented data from the Phase III OlympiAD trial showing the final overall survival (OS) results for Lynparza (olaparib) in metastatic breast cancer at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Chicago, US, 14-18 April 2018.
The trial compared Lynparza with chemotherapy (physician’s choice of capecitabine, eribulin or vinorelbine) for patients with germline BRCA-mutated (gBRCAm) HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer and met its primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS).
Results at AACR include updated findings from the secondary endpoint of overall survival (OS). While the trial was not powered to demonstrate a statistically-significant difference, the median OS was 19.3 months in patients treated with Lynparza and 17.1 months for patients treated with chemotherapy (HR 0.90; 95% CI 0.66-1.23; p=0.513). At the final OS data cut-off (64% maturity), nearly 13% of patients remained on Lynparza and no patients remained on chemotherapy.
Sean Bohen, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer at AstraZeneca, said: “OlympiAD is the first Phase III trial to demonstrate disease control with a PARP inhibitor in BRCA-mutated HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. While the trial was not powered to show overall survival compared to chemotherapy, the results are another encouraging marker in the use of Lynparza for this patient population.”
Roy Baynes, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Clinical Development, Chief Medical Officer, MSD Research Laboratories, said: “For patients and physicians, these results are meaningful in that they support the progression-free survival endpoint – which showed that patients treated with Lynparza gained seven months chemotherapy-free time – and reinforce the importance of identifying BRCA status to optimise metastatic breast cancer management.”
When analysing the predefined subgroups, the results were consistent with the overall analysis, which did not show a statistically-significant difference between arms. The greatest difference was seen in patients who had not received chemotherapy in the metastatic setting with a median difference in OS of 7.9 months with Lynparza (HR 0.51; 95% CI 0.29-0.90; nominal p=0.02; median 22.6 vs 14.7 months).
Table 1: Predefined subgroups for OS analysis
Median OS (months)
Nominal p Value
Physician’s choice of chemotherapy
Prior chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer
No (1st line)
Yes (2nd line / 3rd line)
Prior platinum-based chemotherapy for breast cancer
Oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) and/or progesterone receptor positive (HR+)
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC)
The safety profile of Lynparza remained consistent with the primary analysis, indicating no relevant cumulative toxicity with extended exposure. Serious adverse events (Grade >3) were reported in 38% of patients who received Lynparza vs 49.5% of patients in the chemotherapy arm.
These results build on previously reported findings, which demonstrated Lynparza significantly improved PFS (HR 0.58; 95% CI 0.43-0.80; p=0.0009 median 7.0 vs 4.2 months) and showed benefit beyond initial disease progression, prolonging time to second progression or death (PFS2) by 3.9 months (HR 0.57; 95% CI 0.40-0.83; p=0.003 median 13.2 months vs 9.3 months). Previously reported findings also showed Lynparza doubled objective response rates (52% [95% CI 44-60] vs 23% [95% CI 13-35]) and improved quality-of-life scores. The data from the OlympiAD trial can be found in the 10 August 2017 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
In January 2018, Lynparza was approved by the US FDA for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, based on the OlympiAD data. A Type II variation application was recently validated by the European Medicines Agency for Lynparza in gBRCAm HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer.
A Phase III trial (n=1800), OlympiA, is evaluating Lynparza as an adjuvant treatment in patients with gBRCA HER2-negative breast cancer, with results expected in 2020. The trial is powered to assess potential benefit in OS.
Lynparza is approved in around 60 countries for advanced ovarian cancer and has treated more than 20,000 patients globally. It has the broadest clinical development programme of any PARP inhibitor and AstraZeneca and MSD are working together to bring Lynparza to more patients across multiple cancers.
NOTES TO EDITORS
OlympiAD is a global, randomised, open-label, multi-centre Phase III trial of 302 patients, assessing the efficacy and safety of Lynparza tablets (300 mg twice daily) compared to chemotherapy (physician’s choice of capecitabine, eribulin or vinorelbine). 205 patients were randomised to receive Lynparza and 97 patients were randomised to receive chemotherapy.
Patients in the OlympiAD trial had germline BRCA-mutated, HER2-negative (hormone receptor-positive or triple negative) breast cancer and received Lynparza for treatment in the metastatic setting. Prior to enrolment, 71% of patients had received no more than two previous chemotherapy treatments for metastasised breast cancer and 28% of patients had received prior platinum-based chemotherapy. Also enrolled were patients with HR+ breast cancer who had received at least one endocrine therapy (adjuvant therapy or therapy for metastatic disease) and had disease progression during therapy, unless they had disease for which the endocrine therapy was considered inappropriate.
The primary endpoint was PFS. Secondary endpoints included OS, time to second progression or death, objective response rate, health-related quality of life and safety and tolerability.
About Metastatic Breast Cancer
PRs, ERs and HER2 receptors may be expressed on breast cancer cells. A patient’s breast cancer will test either negative or positive for these three receptors. If a tumour tests positive for PR and/or ER, it is considered hormone-receptor positive. If a tumour tests negative for all three receptors, it is considered triple negative. These receptors indicate which hormones or other proteins may be promoting growth of the cancer.
Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) is the most advanced stage of breast cancer (Stage IV), and occurs when cancer cells have spread beyond the initial tumour site to other parts of the body, outside of the breast and nearby lymph nodes.
Despite the increase in treatment options during the past three decades, there is currently no cure for patients diagnosed with MBC and only 26.9% of patients survive for five years after diagnosis. Thus, the primary aim of treatment is to slow progression of the disease for as long as possible, improving, or at least maintaining, a patient’s quality of life.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with an estimated 1.67 million new cases diagnosed worldwide in 2012 alone - one in four of all cancer cases. Approximately 30% of women who are diagnosed with early breast cancer will go on to develop advanced disease.
About BRCA Mutations
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that produce proteins responsible for repairing damaged DNA and play an important role 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 was the first in class PARP inhibitor and the first targeted treatment to potentially exploit DNA damage response (DDR) pathway deficiencies, such as BRCA mutations, to preferentially kill cancer cells. Specifically, in vitro studies have shown that Lynparza-induced cytotoxicity may involve inhibition of PARP-enzymatic activity and increased formation of PARP-DNA complexes, resulting in DNA damage and cancer cell death.
Lynparza, which has the broadest clinical development programme of any PARP inhibitor, is being investigated in a range of DDR-deficient tumour types, and is the foundation of AstraZeneca’s industry-leading portfolio of compounds targeting DDR mechanisms in cancer cells.
About the AstraZeneca and MSD Strategic Oncology Collaboration
In July 2017, AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, US, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced a global strategic oncology collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialise Lynparza, the world’s first PARP inhibitor and potential new medicine selumetinib, a MEK inhibitor, for multiple cancer types. The collaboration is based on increasing evidence that PARP and MEK inhibitors can be combined with PD-L1/PD-1 inhibitors for a range of tumour types. Working together, the companies will develop Lynparza and selumetinib in combination with other potential new medicines and as a monotherapy. Independently, the companies will develop Lynparza and selumetinib in combination with their respective PD-L1 and PD-1 medicines.
About 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 at least six new medicines to be launched between 2014 and 2020 and a broad pipeline of small molecules and biologics in development, we are committed to advance Oncology as one of AstraZeneca’s Four Growth Platforms focused on lung, ovarian, breast and blood cancers. In addition to our core capabilities, we actively pursue innovative partnerships and investments that accelerate the delivery of our strategy as illustrated by our investment in Acerta Pharma in haematology.
By harnessing the power of four scientific platforms – Immuno-Oncology, Tumour Drivers and Resistance, DDR 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 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. The Company also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.
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