An experimental cancer drug made by Sanofi-Aventis SA helped patients withLink to article
advanced breast tumors live more than 60 percent longer using a new method that
stops diseased cells from healing themselves, a new study found.
Sanofi will begin enrolling 400 patients in the next two months for an
expanded trial to confirm the results. That could take as little as a year to
complete before submitting to regulators for marketing approval, Chew said.
The drugmaker believes the new trial "will be sufficient" for approval,
Healthy human cells have six different mechanisms
to repair DNA. As cancer develops, many of those mechanisms break down, leaving
the cell reliant on PARP to fix genetic damage from cancer treatments.
Researchers have found that severe forms of cancer in the ovaries, uterus, lungs
and pancreas all have unusually high PARP enzyme activity, meaning they could
make good targets for the new therapies, according to Barry Sherman, BiPar’s
chief medical officer.
The cancer in the study is called
triple negative breast cancer because it lacks the three genetic targets needed
for the most effective medicines. It is responsible for about 15 percent of all
breast cancers and sickens younger women more than other forms. If the cancer is
detected early enough, treatment with a PARP inhibitor may be able to
permanently destroy the tumors, Sherman said in an interview at the conference
“There is an opportunity here to actually use the term ‘cure’
when it’s applied to early-stage disease,” Sherman said. “That is perhaps one of
the most exciting notions to come out of this. This is the forefront of a field
that is about to open up, about DNA repair.”
Sunday, May 31, 2009
More on BSI-201 PARP Inhibitor
From Bloomberg News