Therapy treats patients with specific types of ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended AstraZeneca’s Lynparza.

The therapy, also known as olaparib, is indicated for the maintenance treatment of BRCA-mutated relapsed, platinum-sensitive, high-grade epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer.

It specifically treats patients who have already had two or more courses of platinum-based chemotherapy.

Olaparib is a significant inhibitor of human poly polymerase enzymes that are targeted to block DNA repair among cancer cells, harbouring a deficiency in homologous recombination repair. This includes those with mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

Meanwhile, the treatment has been associated with adverse reactions of mild or moderate severity and generally not requiring treatment discontinuation. The most commonly observed adverse reactions across clinical studies included nausea, fatigue/asthenia and anaemia.

Tom Keith-Roach, president of AstraZeneca UK, said: “Olaparib was discovered and developed in the UK, which makes today’s positive recommendation for BRCA-mutated platinum-sensitive relapsed, high-grade epithelial ovarian cancer patients in the UK even more significant. AstraZeneca has a bold ambition to provide hope for patients with cancer. This requires continued investment and greater access to new innovations, and today’s news is another positive step.”

David Long, head of oncology at MSD UK said: “BRCA-mutated platinum-sensitive, relapsed high-grade epithelial ovarian cancer can be a devastating diagnosis for patients and their families as it often has a poor prognosis. This recommendation is an important milestone in advancing cancer care in the UK. We are optimistic that this treatment option may help improve outcomes for patients.”

Lynparza is being jointly developed and commercialised by AstraZeneca and MSD through an internationally strategic oncology partnership.