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NICE authorises Lynparza for NHS use in all BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer cases

Published on 02/12/19 at 11:52am

NICE has given its recommendation for the routine use on the NHS in England and Wales of AstraZeneca and MSD’s Lynparza (olaparib) for the maintenance treatment of relapsed, advanced, BRCA+ ovarian cancer, it has been announced, making the drug available to all BRCA-mutated patients.

Specifically, this new ruling affects adult NHS patients who are living with relapsed, platinum-sensitive high grade epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation (BRCAm) which has responded to platinum-based chemotherapy. Patients who have previously received two courses of platinum-based chemotherapy will be able to access the drug via the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

The drug has been recommended for NHS use on the back of trial data that showing a median progression-free survival benefit of 19.1 months compared to 5.5 months with placebo, and this benefit extended to 24 months in 43% of patients compared to 15% with placebo.

Ovarian cancer claims a life in the UK every two hours, with almost 60% of cases in the UK diagnosed in the late stages when it is much more difficult to treat. Lynparza was previously only available in capsule form and to patients with BRCA+ varieties of the condition – around 22% of cases – who had previously received three or more lines of chemotherapy.

“This decision is positive news for patients because it means that we now have access to olaparib tablets for BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer across all lines of therapy,” remarked Professor Jonathan Ledermann, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University College London Cancer Institute. “Not only does this mean that we have an additional treatment option that offers significant clinical benefits to patients, it also means that all patients currently being treated with olaparib can now access the tablet formulation instead of the capsules.”

Mohit Manrao, Business Unit Director, Oncology at AstraZeneca UK, also commented on the decision: “We are delighted to have reached an arrangement with NICE to enable expanded access to olaparib tablets as maintenance treatment for women with advanced ovarian cancer who have had two or more lines of chemotherapy. As a UK-based company, it’s great to see this product of British science become more widely available, therefore helping more women across England and Wales.”

Matt Fellows

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