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NICE knocks back advanced kidney cancer drug duo

Published on 14/08/17 at 12:26pm

NICE has dished out a double judgement turning down two drugs for advanced renal cell carcinoma, a form of kidney cancer as it is more commonly known. While the guidance is only in its draft stage, the decision could mean that Eisai’s Kisplyx (lenvatinib) and Eusa Pharma’s Fotivda (tivozanib) are withheld from NHS patients in England and Wales.

Kisplyx was put forward as a combination treatment with everolimus for use in patients who had received prior treatment, but was knocked back due to concerns over the strength of the clinical evidence supporting its marketing application. Principally, this was due to the small size of its trial’s patient group, despite the combination extending survival times by 10.1 months compared to everolimus alone.  Additionally, cost-effectiveness estimates for the combination treatment were much higher than those for comparable treatments.

Fotivda was assessed as a single-drug therapy for those who had not received prior treatment, and also was turned down because of doubts over its efficacy. NICE wrote in its draft guidance: “At best, Fotivda may have a similar effect as current treatments available on the NHS, sunitinib or pazopanib, but it may not be as good therefore it is not recommended. More information about how long people live while taking tivozanib is needed. However, it would not be useful to have data on tivozanib without being able to compare it with pazopanib and sunitinib, and it is not currently possible to collect the information for pazopanib and sunitinib through the Cancer Drugs Fund.”

Matt Fellows

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