Europe – NICE says ‘no’ to Gilead’s Yescarta in draft guidelines

NHS funding for Gilead’s freshly approved CAR-T therapy Yescarta has been turned down in draft guidelines by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

The drug as just won EU approval having been shown to be clinically effective in treating diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma in people who have had two or more systemic therapies.

Along with Novartis’ Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), it is the first CAR-T therapy – a process by which T cells are drawn from a patient’s blood and reprogrammed in the lab to create T cells that are genetically coded to hunt the patient’s cancer cells -to be cleared for use in the region.

However, in draft guidelines, NICE said there is no direct data to compare Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) with the current standard treatment – salvage chemotherapy, which mean the exact size of the benefit the therapy would offer patients is unknown…