- AstraZeneca and Merck said more than a fifth of patients receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer remained free of disease progression after two years compared to just 10% on placebo.

Results from the trial showed a statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful improvement in progression-free survival for Lynparza compared with a placebo, improving the time without disease progression by a median of 7.4 months for patients treated with Lynparza versus 3.8 months for those on placebo, the company said.

More than twice as many patients showed no disease progression both at one year (34% on Lynparza vs. 15% on placebo) and two years (22% vs. 10%, respectively).

The POLO trial tested Lynparza tablets as 1st-line maintenance monotherapy for patients with pancreatic cancer whose disease had not progressed following standard-of-care platinum-based 1st-line chemotherapy. The primary goal was progression-free survival and key secondary endpoints included overall survival, time to second disease progression, overall response rate, disease control rate and health-related quality of life, the company added.

'These unprecedented results raise new hope for patients that have seen little progress over a long period of time,' said José Baselga, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D.

'From as early as six months after initiation, more than twice as many patients taking Lynparza lived without progression of their disease compared to those on placebo and we are now working with regulatory authorities to bring Lynparza to patients as quickly as possible.'

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