UK – Gilead strikes deal with NHS England on Yescarta access

Gilead has struck a deal with NHS England that allows some adults with lymphoma access to its “game-changing” CAR-T therapy Yescarta.

The agreement marks the first time adults will have access to CAR-T on the NHS, after NHS England reached a deal last month to make CAR-T available for children and young people with a rare form of leukaemia.

NHS England says Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel), which was initially turned down for adults patients because it was too expensive, offers new hope for those whose large cell lymphoma has returned or has stopped responding to previous treatment.

The treatment is licenced to treat adults with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma after two or more previous therapies failed, on the back of trials showing that the therapy could potentially cure 40% of patients.

Yescarta would have cost nearly £300,000 per patient at its full list price, but Gilead’s commercial agreement with NHS England has enabled NICE to approve its entry into NHS England’s Cancer Drugs Fund…