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NICE U-turn sees Celgene's Imnovid backed for multiple myeloma

New data and a discount swayed the cost-effectiveness body
Celgene Imnovid

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has backed Celgene's multiple myeloma pill Imnovid (pomalidomide) in combination with dexamethasone for use on the NHS in new draft guidance.

Imnovid has been given the nod for the treatment of people with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have undergone three previous treatments, including Celgene's Revlimid (lenalidomide) and Takeda's Velcade (bortexomib).

The U-turn by the UK regulator is thanks to new trial data, which showed the drug to be clinically superior to other myeloma treatments.

In one phase III study, patients in the dual-therapy group who had received two prior treatments had an average overall survival rate of 13.1 months compared with 8.1 months for those receiving dexamethasone alone.

The blood cancer drug has not been available to NHS England and Wales patients since September last year, when it was de-listed from the original iteration of the Cancer Drugs Fund as part of cutbacks.

Celgene has now agreed a confidential discount for Imnovid's list price of £44,420 per treatment course, and the drug could be used to treat around 630 patients in this indication annually.

Commenting on NICE's recommendation, Celgene UK & Ireland's medical director Dr Adrian Kilcoyne said: “Since the removal of pomalidomide from the Cancer Drugs Fund, Celgene has worked collaboratively with NICE to help ensure that patients in England can access this medicine which can improve overall survival by five months.

“The positive recommendation issued by NICE means that eligible patients across the UK can access this important treatment from today. This is great news for patients.”

Multiple myeloma is an incurable disease that affects approximately 9,000 people in the UK and Ireland. The second most common blood cancer, less than half of patients survive for five years or more after diagnosis.

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

24th November 2016

From: Research

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