AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) and MSD Inc (MSD: known as Merck & Co., Inc. inside the US and Canada) today announced high-level results from the Phase III GY004 trial, led by NRG Oncology and sponsored by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI), that examined primarily the efficacy and safety of the potential new medicine cediranib added to Lynparza (olaparib) versus platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cause of death from cancer in women worldwide.
The trial did not meet the primary endpoint in the intent-to-treat (ITT) population of a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) with cediranib added to Lynparza versus platinum-based chemotherapy. Cediranib is an oral vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) inhibitor, which blocks the growth of blood vessels supporting tumour growth.
José Baselga, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, said: “Despite these disappointing results, we remain committed to expanding on the benefits already demonstrated with Lynparza for patients with advanced ovarian cancer. We will work closely with NRG Oncology and the NCI to review the full results to inform our ongoing research.”
Roy Baynes, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Clinical Development, Chief Medical Officer, MSD Research Laboratories, said: “Ovarian cancer is one of the most difficult tumours to diagnose and treat early. AstraZeneca, MSD and our partners will continue to explore ways to help patients through our joint clinical trial development programme.”
The safety and tolerability profiles observed in GY004 were generally consistent with those known for each medicine.
The NCI and NRG Oncology will present the full data at a forthcoming medical meeting.
Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cause of death from cancer in women worldwide.1 In 2018, there were nearly 300,000 new cases diagnosed2 and around 185,000 deaths.1 Most women are diagnosed with advanced (Stage III or IV) ovarian cancer and have a five-year survival rate of approximately 30%.3 The primary aim of treatment in relapsed ovarian cancer is to delay progression of the disease for as long as possible, therefore increasing the time to re-initiation of chemotherapy with its associated toxicities, and maintaining quality of life for these patients.4,5,6
GY004 is an open-label, randomised, multicentre, Phase III trial testing the efficacy and safety of the potential new medicine cediranib added to Lynparza, versus Lynparza monotherapy versus standard platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer patients, with or without a BRCA mutation.
The GY004 trial is led by NRG Oncology, a non-profit research organisation funded by the NCI, in collaboration with AstraZeneca. The NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health. AstraZeneca provided both cediranib and Lynparza to support the trial through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the NCI.
Lynparza (olaparib) is a first-in-class PARP inhibitor and the first targeted treatment to block DNA damage response (DDR) in cells/tumours harbouring a deficiency in homologous recombination repair, such as mutations in BRCA1 and/or BRCA2. Inhibition of PARP with Lynparza leads to the trapping of PARP bound to DNA single-strand breaks, stalling of replication forks, their collapse and the generation of DNA double-strand breaks and cancer cell death. Lynparza is being tested in a range of PARP-dependent tumour types with defects and dependencies in the DDR pathway.
Lynparza is currently approved in 73 countries, including those in the EU, for the maintenance treatment of platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer. It is approved in the US, the EU, Japan, China and several other countries as 1st-line maintenance treatment of BRCA-mutated advanced ovarian cancer following response to platinum-based chemotherapy. It is also approved in 58 countries, including the US and Japan, for germline BRCA-mutated, HER2-negative, metastatic breast cancer, previously treated with chemotherapy; in the EU, this includes locally advanced breast cancer. In 2019, Lynparza was additionally approved in the US for the treatment of germline BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer. Regulatory reviews are underway in other jurisdictions for ovarian, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers.
Lynparza, which is being jointly developed and commercialised by AstraZeneca and MSD, is approved for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer, metastatic breast cancer and pancreatic cancer. It has been used to treat over 30,000 patients worldwide. Lynparza has the broadest and most advanced clinical-trial development programme of any PARP inhibitor, and AstraZeneca and MSD are working together to understand how it may affect multiple PARP-dependent tumours as a monotherapy and in combination across multiple cancer types. Lynparza is the foundation of AstraZeneca’s industry-leading portfolio of potential new medicines targeting DDR mechanisms in cancer cells.
Cediranib is an oral vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor inhibitor that has demonstrated efficacy as a monotherapy and in combination in various cancers. Cediranib has shown anti-tumour activity in many cancers, including ovarian, breast, colorectal, renal, lung, sarcoma and glioblastoma. Cediranib is being evaluated in combination with Lynparza in advanced ovarian cancer in the Phase II CONCERTO trial, Phase II/III GY005 trial (sponsored by the NCI) and Phase III ICON9 trial (sponsored by University College, London).