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NICE recommends Pfizer's Besponsa in rare leukaemia following review

Published on 09/08/18 at 10:15am

Pfizer has revealed that NICE has finally decided to recommend its CD22-targeting monoclonal antibody Besponsa (inotuzumab ozogamicin) in the treatment of relapsed or refractory CD22-positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in adult patients in whom a tyrosine kinase inhibitor has proven ineffective.

The drug was originally knocked back by the drug watchdog last year, a decision which was not well received. After an appeal was made against the institute’s Final Appraisal Determination, and after reviewing additional efficacy evidence from Pfizer, the decision was reached to make the drug available on the NHS in England and Wales at a revised discounted price.

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is a rare form of cancer which affects around 650 additional patients every year; around 114 of these patients will be eligible for treatment with Besponsa.

“Today’s announcement is good news for patients across the country who have been diagnosed with this type of relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Inotuzumab ozogamicin can offer patients a life-line, giving them the chance to go into complete remission and become eligible for a potentially curative allogeneic stem-cell transplant,” said Professor David Marks, Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, and Transplant Coordinator of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Adult ALL Group. The news that this drug is now routinely available through the NHS after several months of dedicated commitment from the haematology community will therefore be a welcome relief for eligible patients and their families.”

Dr Craig Eagle, Head of Oncology at Pfizer UK, added: “We welcome NICE’s decision and are pleased that leukaemia patients across the country will now have routine access to this potentially transformative treatment option. We are particularly thankful to the clinical and patient group community who also worked tirelessly throughout this process to ensure patients who can benefit from inotuzumab ozogamicin have access to it."

Matt Fellows

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