AstraZeneca and MSD said the European Commission had approved their drug to treat patients with advanced breast cancer.

The approval was based on data from the phase III OlympiAD trial which tested Lynparza as a monotherapy for advanced/metastatic breast cancer - stage III and IV breast cancer - against a physician's choice of chemotherapy.

Lynparza provided patients with a statistically-significant median progression-free survival improvement of 2.8 months compared with chemotherapy.

'With this approval, Lynparza provides patients throughout the EU with a targeted and oral chemotherapy-free treatment option for a difficult-to-treat cancer,' said Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice President, Oncology. 'It also reinforces the importance of testing for biomarkers including BRCA, hormone receptor and HER2 expression, helping physicians to make the most informed treatment decisions for patients.'