AstraZeneca Develops App for Cancer Drugs
AstraZeneca has announced plans to test a digital support service for women undergoing treatment for recurrent platinum-sensitive high-grade ovarian cancer in clinical trials of cediranib plus olaparib. Voluntis has developed the service in clinical collaboration with AstraZeneca and the US National Cancer Institute (NCI). It is delivered through a smartphone app paired with a web portal to help clinicians and patients manage side effects of hypertension and diarrhea sometimes associated with combination therapy with cediranib and olaparib. Such side effects are traditionally described to care teams through manual, time-consuming and non-digitized channels.
The app will be tested as a companion device in three separate clinical trials sponsored by the NCI beginning in the first quarter of 2016, under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between the NCI and AstraZeneca.The service will also serve as a pilot within AstraZeneca's broader strategy of using digital technology to complement treatment and to improve patient outcomes.
Cediranib is a highly potent, selective, orally administered inhibitor of VEGF-1, -2 and -3 receptors. It has been shown to inhibit angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in the vascularization of platinum-sensitive tumor types. In July 2015, the cediranib filing was accepted by the European Medicines agency and awarded orphan drug status for the treatment of platinum-sensitive relapse ovarian cancer. Cediranib is also in development, in combination with Lynparza (olaparib), for platinum-sensitive relapse ovarian cancer and platinum-resistant relapse ovarian cancer.
Olaparib is an oral poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor that exploits tumor DNA repair pathway deficiencies to preferentially kill cancer cells. This mode of action gives olaparib the potential for activity in a range of tumor types with DNA repair deficiencies. Olaparib is approved for patients with germline BRCA-mutated advanced ovarian cancer and has been launched in the US and Europe, with ongoing regulatory submissions across multiple markets. In addition to ovarian cancer, AstraZeneca is investigating olaparib in multiple tumor types, with Phase III studies in second-line gastric cancer, BRCA-mutated pancreatic cancer, and adjuvant and metastatic BRCA-mutated breast cancers underway.