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New treatment to boost survival rate in metastatic breast cancer patients

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AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo reveal successful clinical trial; data subject to approvals by health authorities.

A new treatment that could raise the survival rates of HER2-low breast cancer patients who are in the advanced stages of the disease. 

At the recent DESTINY-Breast04 Phase III trial, hosted by AstraZeneca PLC, a globally renowned biopharma giant, and Daiichi Sankyo Company, a Japan-based pharmaceutical group, the HER2-directed antibody drug conjugate Enhertu (Trastuzumab deruxtecan) demonstrated a high rate of response in patients classified under HER2 hormone receptor positive and the triple negative group. To date, around 55% of breast cancer patients fall under the HER2 low metastatic category.  

According to Susan Galbraith, Executive Vice President Oncology R&D at AstraZeneca, the results position Enhertu with the potential to become the best-in-class solution for an antibody drug conjugate directed against HER2. The treatment further sets the stage for expansion into other cancer types and welcomes a combination of treatment options.

“There are several other cancers with HER2 expression segments that we can take the drug into. In addition to this, the profile both safety and efficacy is one that is supportive of going into early lines of treatment,” said Galbraith. “In fact, we have initiated trials in the early stages of breast cancer in the HER2 high category. The data we see today can give us the encouragement to take this drug now into the early stages of breast cancer in HER2 low,” she added.

While the results of the study are expected to be published soon for public review, AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo are working on submitting the data to health authorities across the globe and looking forward to approvals. 

“This is exciting news for patients, who now will have an option of a targeted therapy in an area where chemotherapy has been exclusively used. I would like to stress that not only does the drug improve progression-free survival, but also significantly and clinically improves the overall survival. This is very important for patients that are in advanced stages of the disease,” said Gilles Gallant, Senior Vice President, Global Head, Oncology Development, Oncology R&D, Daiichi Sankyo.

Regulatory disclaimer: Enhertu ‘Trastuzumab deruxtecan’ is not currently registered or approved for use in GCC countries.

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