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Lung Cancer Drug Slows Disease


Astra Zeneca’s experimental lung cancer pill delayed the progression of the disease by more than a year, the company said at the European Lung Cancer Congress 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland, recently.

The data came from the firm’s Phase II study on approximately 300 patients, which showed a 54 percent overall response rate, surpassing the 9.6-month PFS rate AstraZeneca reported last fall.

The drug, AZD9291, focuses on a genetic mutation that keeps tumors resistant to other lung cancer therapies. In its presentation, the company said that it has been able to show AZD9291 produces a median progression-free survival rate of 13.5 months, a major improvement for a patient population that typically sees much lower odds. It targets patients with advanced epidermal growth factor receptor mutation positive (EGFRm) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), who also have the T790M resistance mutation.

“We are committed to developing novel medicines that address the significant unmet need in lung cancer by focusing on the genetic drivers underlying the disease,” said Antoine Yver, head of oncology, global medicines development at AstraZeneca, in a statement.

AstraZeneca plans to submit the drug to regulators next quarter.