Daiichi Sankyo, the Japanese pharmaceutical company, accelerates its breast cancer drug DS-821 through clinical development in the hopes of offering new and improved therapies for breast cancer patients.
Current Breast Cancer Standard of Care
The Boston Herald reports that 400,000 are diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer each year. This cancer is notorious for becoming resistant to the latest drugs. Typically HER2 patients take Herceptin then often move to Kadcyla. Once the disease overcomes Kadcyla, there is no standard course of action, reports Dr. Ian Krop of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. DS-8201 can potentially fill this void.
DS-8201: Huge Potential and AstraZeneca Paid Accordingly
Daiichi Sakyo recently announced it is accelerating its Biologics License Application (BLA) for DS-8201 for the treatment of patients who previously received Kadcyla, to the first half of 2019. The drug works by attaching chemotherapy to antibodies that offer a targeted attack on cancer cells and milder side effects compared to traditional chemotherapy. Dana-Farber started clinical trials involving DS-8201 three years ago and Dr. Krop has seen significant results with his own patients—some who travel significant distances to attend a trial.
Recently Daiichi also reported that it would partner with AstraZeneca to commercialize the treatment in many countries worldwide. AstraZeneca pays Daiichi Sankyo up to $6.9 billion in total (inclusive of $1.35 billion upfront and up to $5.5 billion on achievement of relevant milestones).
Daiichi Sankyo hopes to complete the FDA approval process and secure approval sometime in 2020.