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Ipsen secures NICE approval for multi-targeting kidney cancer therapy

Published on 11/07/17 at 09:48am

Ipsen has announced that its therapy Cabometyx (cabozantinib) has been given approval by NICE for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), following prior vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy. This new decision means that England and Wales follow Scotland’s decision to make the drug available in June; now, all eligible patients in the UK will be given routine access to the therapy on the NHS.

Cabometyx is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor which operates by targeting multiple receptors associated with resistance and relapse in RCC. Because of its multi-targeting mechanism of action, NICE judged that the drug has the potential to offer additional benefits to some patients – on the basis of this, the committee deemed it an innovative treatment. 

The final appraisal decision was based on Phase 3 trial data which showed that, compared to everolimus, Cabometyx elicited a response rate in five times as many patients, with a rate of 17% responding versus 3%. Ipsen’s therapy also extended median overall survival by 21.4 months compared to 16.5 months, and increased progression free survival with 7.4 months against 3.9.

“The NICE approval of cabozantinib is an important decision for advanced kidney cancer patients. It is one of the few drugs in this disease which extends survival,” remarked Professor Tom Powles, Professor of Medical Oncology at Barts Cancer Institute and UK Principle Investigator of the Phase III study. “It is therefore an effective option for patients, justifying its prominent position in the latest treatment guidelines. This approval will help patients in an area of unmet need. Further research is needed to continue the progress towards long term remissions and cure.” 

Kidney cancer is a major threat, particularly in the UK, where it is currently the 7th most common form of the illness, with around 12,000 new cases every year.

Ewan McDowall, Vice President of Commercial Operations, Ipsen UK & Ireland also commented, “At a time where the NHS is under increasing pressure we have taken our responsibility one step further by implementing an industry first of its kind: a managed access programme throughout the UK that provides cabozantinib free of charge for patients for the duration of their treatment. To date nearly 300 patients in the UK have benefited from cabozantinib through this Ipsen initiative, whilst the NICE process took place. We are delighted that now any eligible patient in the UK can benefit from cabozantinib. These patients don’t have time to wait.”

Matt Fellows

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