A drug sold by AstraZeneca PLC and Merck & Co. reduced the recurrence of breast cancer in women with an early but aggressive form of the disease, a long-running international study found.
The finding, which on Thursday was published online by the New England Journal of Medicine and released at a major cancer-research meeting, marked the latest advance in cancer treatments targeting the genetic traits of tumors. It could expand the arsenal of weapons against a hereditary form of breast cancer.
The result also helps validate the pharmaceutical industry’s investment in a pricey new class of drugs that target cancer cells, known as PARP inhibitors.
AstraZeneca’s pill, named Lynparza, has become one of the company’s top sellers, generating $1.8 billion in sales last year. Rival GlaxoSmithKline PLC paid more than $5 billion in 2019 to acquire the maker of another PARP inhibitor, Tesaro.
Lynparza carries a U.S. list price of about $14,449 per patient monthly.