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Gilead's CAR-T therapy Yescarta now available via NHS Scotland for two forms of B-cell lymphoma

Published on 08/10/19 at 10:56am

News has broken that the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has chosen to approve the use of Gilead’s chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) on the NHS in Scotland.

Following the decision, patients will be able to receive the therapy for the treatment of relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), in adult patients who have tried two or more lines of systemic therapy.

The ruling marks the second NHS approval of a CAR-T therapy in Scotland, following Novartis’ Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) earlier this year for the treatment of relapsed/refractory DLBCL in adults and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

“This is further good news for people affected by lymphoma as it means there is wider access to CAR T cell therapy in Scotland. It is important for people affected by DLBCL and particularly significant for people affected by primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, for whom CAR T cell therapy would not otherwise be available in Scotland,” remarked Stephen Scowcroft, Director of Operations and External Affairs at Lymphoma Action.

General Manager, Gilead UK & Ireland’s General Manager Hilary Hutton-Squire also remarked: “This is an important day for patients in Scotland with certain aggressive forms of blood cancer. Yescarta is an individualised cell therapy that provides a valuable treatment option for patients who have exhausted other therapies, meaning they may have just months left to live, potentially changing their outcomes.” 

Matt Fellows

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