AstraZeneca Reveals Cancer Drug Success

AstraZeneca has revealed its drug trial for Enhertu has been successful, yielding positive results to “significantly delay disease progression” in those suffering from HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. 

Earlier this week (August 15th), the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company announced the findings of its DESTINY-Breast02 Phase III trial of Enhertu versus physician’s choice of treatment. 

This showed the drug achieved a “statistically and clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) in patients”. It also boosted overall survival of those with metastatic breast cancer who had previously been treated with trastuzumab emtansine. 

Executive vice president of oncology research and development (R&D) at AstraZeneca Susan Galbraith stated: “The DESTINY-Breast02 trial results in this patient population with advanced disease confirm the efficacy and safety profile seen in DESTINY-Breast01.”

The study, which has been created to be an HER2-directed antibody drug conjugate (ADC), confirmed the findings in the DESTINY-Breast01 Phase II trial. What’s more, no new safety concerns were outlined. 

Ms Galbraith added: “These data further strengthen our confidence in Enhertu and reinforce its potential to transform patient outcomes across multiple treatment settings.”

AstraZeneca developed and commercialised Enhertu together with Daiichi Sankyo, the second largest pharmaceutical company in Japan. 

Global head of R&D at Daiichi Sankyo Ken Takeshita commented that the results “enrich our clinical understanding of the benefit this therapy may offer patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer”

As this study was the confirmatory trial, it is a good sign Enhertu could be commercialised to be used as a viable and effective treatment for the one in five breast cancer patients that are HER2-positive.  

Mr Takeshita added: “We look forward to sharing these findings with regulatory authorities to add to the body of data for Enhertu for the treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.”

Enhertu has already been approved in over 30 counties as a treatment for people with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer if they have received  anti-HER2-based regimen previously and the disease has returned within six months of completing the treatment.

If Enhertu was approved as a drug in the UK without patients having had to already undergo an anti-HER2-based regimen, this could help a significant proportion of the 55,920 new cases of breast cancer per annum. It could also potentially save some of the 11,499 people who die every year from the disease in Britain. 

While 75.9 per cent of women with breast cancer in England will live for another ten years or more after their diagnosis, according to Cancer Research, this figure could be even greater with a more effective treatment. 

Currently, 81 per cent of patients in the UK have surgery to remove the tumour; 63 per cent have radiotherapy; and 34 er cent have chemotherapy. 

Thanks to advancements in treatments, such as AstraZeneca’s and Daiichi Sankyo’s, mortality rates for breast cancer are expected to drop by 26 per cent from 2014’s figures to 2035’s, falling to 31 deaths per 100,000 females. 

As many as one in seven females will experience breast cancer during their lifetime, which means any dip in mortality rates will have a significant impact on women’s health. 

For more information about breast cancer treatments in Sheffield, get in touch with us today.