Among the many forms of cancer we know, ovarian cancer is the latest and the least understood. A new type of drug will be the first drug available for ovarian cancer. The drug is manufactured by Astrazeneca and it has been granted formal approval from the European Commission. The approval was widely expected after the European Medicines Agency gave the drug a green light in October. The drug has however hit a road block in US where a panel in June voted against accelerated approval.
AstraZeneca has obtained EU marketing authorization for its ovarian cancer treatment olaparib. The approval comes after regulatory backing by European Medicine Agency. AstraZeneca announced that the European Commission has given the nod for marketing its olaparib, marketed as Lynparza, as a new medicine for treating a subtype of ovarian cancer.
Olaparib acts by blocking the action of proteins known as PARP which help to repair damaged DNA, including in tumor cells. It is the first drug for a particular sub-type of ovarian cancer. The approval of Olaparib for treating Ovarian Cancer is only the first step and the drug has a potential for use in treating breast, pancreatic and gastric cancers.
AstraZeneca’s chief medical officer Briggs Morrison commented in the statement, “We are delighted to be able to bring this much needed treatment to patients with BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer whose options are currently very limited. Today’s news marks only the first of what we hope will be a number of indications in which Lynparza has the potential to transform the lives of cancer patients, including those with breast, pancreatic and gastric cancers.”
The news has been welcomed by Harpal Kumar, CEO, Cancer Research U.K. who said that it offers new hope for women with advanced ovarian cancer.
Professor Steve Jackson, University of Cambridge, whose team had worked in close coordination with AstraZeneca, said that the development is wonderful and also emphasized how progress can be achieved by collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical companies.