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Opdivo scores NICE recommendation in two non-small cell lung cancer indications

Published on 17/09/20 at 12:14pm

NICE has announced its recommendation of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s blockbuster immunotherapy drug Opdivo (nivolumab) for the treatment of two non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) indications in the second-line, it has emerged.

Currently, chemotherapy or a PD-1/PDL-L1 inhibitor is used as standard first-line treatment of locally advanced NSCLC, with Opdivo recommended only as a treatment for patients who have received chemotherapy.

However, with this latest recommendation, the drug will now also be available for the treatment of advanced squamous or non-squamous NSCLC as a follow-up to first-line treatment, so long as tumours from patients in the latter group are PD-L1 positive. In both groups, it is required that patients have not previously received treatment with a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor in order to qualify for the therapy.

The decision was supported by data demonstrating the overall survival benefit of Opdivo in both squamous and non-squamous patient groups compared to current second-line standard of care docetaxel.

Opdivo was previously only available to patients in these indications via the Cancer Drugs Fund. It is estimated that around 2,000 patients in the UK with NSCLC will now be eligible to receive the therapy through the NHS, either for two years or until they see their disease progress.

Final guidance is expected to be published on the decision next month.

Matt Fellows

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