AstraZeneca-Merck’s Lynparza wins EU panel recommendation for cancer treatments

(Reuters) – A European regulatory panel has recommended the approval of Lynparza, a blockbuster cancer treatment developed by AstraZeneca Plc <AZN.L> and Merck & Co Inc <MRK.N>, to treat two more types of cancer.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended Lynparza for patients with a form of prostate cancer and as a first-line maintenance treatment for a form of advanced ovarian cancer, AstraZeneca said. [nASN000D07]

Lynparza has been racking up positive regulatory updates as AstraZeneca battles it out with domestic rival GlaxoSmithKline Plc <GSK.L> for the highly lucrative cancer drug space. [nL4N2DE1N1]

The positive recommendations from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the EMA comes more than two months after Lynparza won approval in the EU for treating patients with a form of pancreatic cancer.

Lynparza became the first marketed PARP drug with a U.S. approval for ovarian cancer in 2014 and is key to AstraZeneca’s push in oncology and sustaining the company’s turnaround. [nL4N2EF1EY]

PARP inhibitors are a class of treatments that work by blocking enzymes involved in repairing damaged DNA, thereby helping kill cancer cells.

Prostate cancer is the second-most common type of cancer in men worldwide, while ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in Europe.

(Reporting by Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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