TOP NEWS: AstraZeneca says Enhertu breast cancer drug improves survival

(Alliance News) - AstraZeneca PLC on Monday reported positive results for its prospective breast ...

Alliance News 20 September, 2021 | 8:46AM
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(Alliance News) - AstraZeneca PLC on Monday reported positive results for its prospective breast cancer treatment.

The FTSE 100-constituent noted a 72% reduction in the risk of disease progression and death when comparing new breast cancer treatment Enhertu with a currently approved treatment, trastuzumab emtansine.

AstraZeneca said it developed the Enhertu antibody drug conjugate with Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd.

The company noted "detailed positive results" from its Destiny-Breast03 Phase III trial affirmed the safety and effectiveness of its Enhertu treatment in patients with HER2-positive unresectable or metastatic breast cancer that had previously been treated with trastuzumab and a taxane.

Patients treated with the new drug showed a "strong trend towards improved overall survival", AstraZeneca added.

Breast cancer is still the most common cancer, the company noted, with over 2 million diagnoses in 2020.

Around one in five cases of breast cancer HER2-positive, meaning that they show higher-than-usual levels of the HER2 growth promoting protein.

According to the American Cancer Society, HER2 positive cancers spread faster but are also more likely to respond to treatment that targets the overactive protein.

"Despite initial treatment with trastuzumab and a taxane, people with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer will often experience disease progression. More effective options are needed to further delay progression and extend survival," AstraZeneca said.

"The early survival data, which evaluated Enhertu against another HER2-directed [antibody drug conjugate], showed that nearly all patients treated with Enhertu were alive after a year and is a positive indication of the potential of this medicine to transform the treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. These landmark data will form the basis of our discussions with global health authorities to potentially bring Enhertu to patients with previously treated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer as a more effective treatment option as soon as possible," added Daiichi Sankyo's global head of research and development, Ken Takeshita.

Shares in AstraZeneca were trading up 2.4% at 8,257.00 pence each in London on Monday morning.

By Scarlett Butler; scarlettbutler@alliancenews.com

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Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
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AstraZeneca PLC 9,003.00 GBX 0.68

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