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UK patients get early access to Opdivo for kidney cancer

Published on 12/02/16 at 10:44am

Bristol Myers-Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) will be available through the Early Access to Medicines  Scheme (EAMS) as a monotherapy to UK kidney cancer patients, following a positive decision by the Medicines Healthcare Products and Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Opdivo will be available for the treatment of adult patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma after prior therapy, with MHRA having reviewed data from a Phase III clinical trial, in which the drug demonstrated a significant median overall survival benefit of 5.4 months compared to the standard therapy, Novartis’ Afinitor (everolimus) in patients who had received prior therapy.

Charity Kidney Cancer UK welcomed the news, chief executive Nick Turkentine, commenting: “This is the news patients with advanced kidney cancer have been waiting to hear. Nivolumab is particularly exciting because it is a new type of treatment for kidney cancer, a monoclonal antibody. It works with the body to modify how the immune system reacts to cancer cells, promoting the natural destruction of kidney cancer cells which were otherwise not recognised by the immune system. Hopefully this new class of cancer drug will lead to more developments in the battle against cancer.”

The kidney cancer ruling follows news last week that Opdivo would be made available through EAMS for lung cancer. 

Joel Levy

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