UK – NICE backs AZ’ Calquence for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published preliminary guidelines backing use of AstraZeneca's Calquence (acalabrutinib) as an NHS funded treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

The Institute is proposing to allow the drug’s use for untreated CLL in adults if they have a 17p deletion or TP53 mutation, and also as an option for those who have had at least one previous treatment, but only if ibrutinib is their only suitable treatment option as a further restriction.

In both settings, a further stipulation is that AstraZeneca provides Calquence according to the commercial arrangement (which remains confidential).

Unusually, NHS England is granting immediate patient access via an interim funding arrangement with AstraZeneca, which will end 30 days after the publication of positive final guidance, after which treatment will be funded by routine commissioning budgets…