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NICE thumbs up for BMS leukaemia treatment

Published on 18/11/16 at 08:55am

Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced that NICE have given a Final Appraisal Determination recommending Sprycel (dasatinib) for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML).

The decision was based on data harvested from a 260-participant Phase III trial which showed that patients treated with Sprycel demonstrated an 11% higher confirmed complete cytogenic response (cCCyR) than those treated with current standard of care imatinib (77% versus 66%).

 “Today’s decision from NICE is an important step forward in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia,” said Doctor Jenny Byrne, Haematologist at Nottingham City Hospital. “The chronic nature of this disease means that treatment needs to be taken continuously and long-term; dasatinib is a treatment that could potentially enable many patients to achieve the goal of normal life-expectancy and to live as normal a life as possible.”

 “The decision by NICE to recommend dasatinib is extremely good news for patients diagnosed with CML, a life-threatening blood cancer,” said Sandy Craine, Founder of The CML Support Group. “For people fighting this disease, timely access to potentially lifesaving targeted therapies such as dasatinib will very likely enable them to gain control over their disease and live out their normal lifespan. Access to targeted therapies like dasatinib not only has the potential to extend their life expectancy but also represents a cost effective use of NHS resource. This is a progressive and forward thinking decision by NICE and will be welcomed by patients and clinicians alike throughout England.” 

“We are extremely pleased that NICE has recognised the significant benefits that dasatinib can offer people fighting chronic myeloid leukaemia,” said Benjamin Hickey, General Manager, Bristol-Myers Squibb UK & Ireland. “Patients will now have access to an important treatment option that, in many patients, can improve their quality of life, while effectively managing the disease. We remain focused on our goal of changing the way people live with cancer and this is another vital milestone in that journey.”

In the UK, CML affects 750 new patients a year with around 200 fatalities. However, with early diagnosis and effective treatment, 70% of sufferers can survive at least five years.

Matt Fellows

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