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Janssen's Imbruvica fails to win NICE backing in lymphoma

But the agency recommends it on the CDF for another type of cancer

Imbruvica

Janssen received mixed news from NICE on its first-in-class BTK inhibitor Imbruvica (ibrutinib) this week.

Draft guidance from the cost-effectiveness body doesn’t back Imbruvica to treat mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) - an incurable, rare type of B-cell lymphoma that approximately effects 500 people each year in the UK.

NICE said it would consider any proposal to include the MCL treatment via the new version of the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), but that more evidence would be needed for this.

Jennifer Lee, director of health economics, market access and reimbursement and advocacy, Janssen UK, said: “This is particularly discouraging news for patients with MCL in the UK as the medicine is already routinely available to patients with the same condition in Scotland, following the Scottish Medicines Consortium recommendation last year.

“Should this guidance become final, UK patients with MCL could be left without access to this standard of care for the condition and with few treatment options and none beyond chemotherapy.”

Final guidance is due in January and, ahead of that, Imbruvica will still be available via the ‘old’ CDF and the new verdict won’t affect any MCL patients currently receiving the drug.

There was some positive news for Janssen, however, as Imbruvica received a positive recommendation to treat Waldenström's Macroglobulinaemia (WM) in adults who have had at least one prior therapy.

The drug will be available for the first time in this indication via the CDF, but NICE concluded that further evidence would be needed before the treatment was recommended for routine use on the NHS.

Lee said: “The decision to make ibrutinib available on the CDF makes it possible for additional clinical data to be collected to add to the evidence base for WM.”

The disease sees around 400 patients diagnosed each year in the UK according to WM UK, and this type of blood cancer usually affects people over the age of 65.

Article by
Gemma Jones

29th September 2017

From: Regulatory

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