Women with ovarian cancer responding to initial treatment with chemotherapy were then randomized to receive further maintenance treatment with AstraZeneca's olaparib or a placebo. Tumor re-growth was delayed by 8.4 months in the women treated with olaparib compared to 4.8 months for women given a placebo.
Abraxane's overall response rate was 33% compared to 25% for paclitaxel -- a statistically significant benefit that was maintained when patients responses were analyzed by countries of origin -- Russia/Ukraine, Asia/Pacific and North American/Australia. Despite the improved response rate, Abraxane did not prolong the time before tumors started growing again compared to paclitaxel. A survival analysis from the study will be presented at the ASCO meeting.
Celgene will seek FDA approval later this year to expand Abraxane's label to include treatment for lung cancer. The drug is already approved to treat breast cancer.
Nektar is developing NKTR-102 in ovarian and breast cancer and is expected to outline details of phase III studies at ASCO.