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Sanofi and Regeneron's Libtayo approved on NHS Scotland for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma

Published on 11/02/20 at 09:57am

Scottish patients will now be able to access Sanofi and Regeneron’s Libtayo (cemiplimab) via the NHS after it became known that the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) awarded conditional approval to the drug as a monotherapy for the treatment of metastatic or locally advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) in adults who are not candidates for curative surgery or curative radiation.

The second most prevalent variety of cancer in the UK, there are around 3,000 new diagnoses of CSCC per year in Scotland, with up to 5% of cases progressing to an advanced stage which brings significant risks to mortality and quality of life.

“As CSCC advances, lesions can grow very large and unsightly, spread to different parts of the body and result in skin deformity and pain, leading to a significantly reduced quality of life for patients,” commented Professor Charlotte Proby, Professor of Dermatology at the University of Dundee. “New treatment options for this hard-to-treat group are hugely welcomed by clinicians treating skin cancer, in order to give patients with very limited treatment options, a chance at managing symptoms.”

The SMC passed the judgement off the back of positive data from Phase 1 and 2 trials. The drug was approved conditionally in the wider European Union in July last year in the same indication.

“We are very pleased by this positive recommendation from the SMC for cemiplimab, which will expand the treatment options for patients in Scotland living with this hard to treat form of advanced skin cancer,” remarked Dr Marc Moodley, Medical Director at Sanofi Genzyme. “Sanofi has a long legacy of developing innovative medicines for oncology patients but the biggest reward is when our medicines are able to reach those patients who can benefit the most.”

Matt Fellows

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