Japanese women with advanced ovarian cancer can now be treated with the new tablet formulation of Lynparza (olaparib) after a recent approval by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The treatment was approved to delay disease progression in women who responded to a previous platinum-based chemotherapy regimen, regardless of their BRCA mutation status. Lynparza, jointly developed by AstraZeneca and Merck (known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada), is taken twice daily in 300 mg tablets. "We are proud to bring this important first-in-class treatment to women with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer in Japan who currently have very few treatment options," Dave Fredrickson, executive vice president, head of the oncology business unit at AstraZeneca, said in a press release. "The trials show that with Lynparza maintenance therapy, women with ovarian cancer can live longer without their disease worsening, and Lynparza is well tolerated," he added. Lynparza belongs to a group of chemical compounds known as poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. It is the first of its kind to be approved in Japan. The drug acts by preventing cells from repairing their DNA errors. Because cancer divides at a faster pace, they accumulate errors faster than healthy cells, leading to cancer cell death. Lynparza is particularly effective in cancers with mutations in other DNA-repairing genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2. The Japanese approval was supported by data from the SOLO-2 Phase 3 trial (NCT01874353) and the Phase 2 Study 19 trial (NCT00753545). SOLO-2 enrolled 295 patients with ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer with inherited BRCA mutations. Patients randomly received 300 mg Lynparza tablets or placebo twice daily.