The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has given definitive backing to two cancer drugs for routine use on the NHS in England and Wales.
Cost-effectiveness body NICE issued final guidance recommending Boehringer Ingelheim's Giotrif (afatinib) for use in the treatment of lung cancer, while Janssen's Velcade (bortezomib) was given the green light to treat blood cancer multiple myeloma.
With its recommendation, Giotrif becomes the third drug recommended by NICe that is a personalised treatment for people with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
It follows positive guidance for personalised lung cancer medicines Roche's Tarceva (erlotinib) and AstraZeneca's Iressa (gefitinib), both of which are also targeted at patients who have the EGFR-TK genetic mutation.
The specific recommend for Giotrif covers patients who have non-small-cell lung cancer which is locally advanced or has spread to other parts of the body.
The NICE recommendation is another positive step forward for Boehringer's relatively new oncology ambitions, which bore its first fruit with the approval of Giotrif last year.
Elsewhere, NICE backed Janssen's Velcade as a first treatment for people with multiple myeloma before bone marrow transplant.
“The evidence presented to our independent committee showed that having bortezomib at this stage will help more patients go on to a bone marrow transplant, and consequently prevent the disease from progressing for longer,” said Professor Carole Longson, director of the NICE centre for health technology evaluation.
The decision comes after a troubled review period for Velcade, which was initially turned down in this indication in 2013.