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New cancer drug to benefit more patients

LONDON – A new drug developed at the University of Sheffield could become available to patients diagnosed with a wide range of cancers, the university said on Thursday.

Lynparza, the world’s first and leading PARP inhibitor, is currently available for the treatment of some women with advanced BRCA2-related ovarian cancer.

In 2005, Professor Thomas Helleday and his team of researchers at the University of Sheffield demonstrated how PARP inhibitors could be used as a tailored treatment for patients with BRCA2 mutations, which are seen in both hereditary ovarian and breast cancer. PARP inhibitors work by blocking the cancer cell’s ability to repair damage.

The discovery was patent protected and licensed to pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which continued the development process and undertook successful clinical trials.

Now AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc., have announced a global strategic oncology collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialize Lynparza for multiple cancer types.

“We welcome the announcement that AstraZeneca and Merck are working together to make this groundbreaking treatment available to more patients,” said Professor Dave Petley, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at the University of Sheffield.

The drug will be developed as monotherapy and in combination with other potential medicines, further increasing the number of treatment options available for patients. (Xinhua)

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