UK – NICE backs Bavencio combo for kidney cancer

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended NHS use of Merck and Pfizer's immunotherapy Bavencio (avelumab) in combination with axitinib as a first-line treatment for kidney cancer.

Specifically, the drug’s use will be funded via the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) when used for the first-line treatment of adult patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

The firms highlight that outcomes for patients with advanced RCC remain “unacceptably poor”, with a five-year survival rate of approximately 12% at the latest stage, and that more first-line treatment options are urgently needed.

Bavencio is an immune checkpoint inhibitor targeting PD-L18 and axitinib is an antiangiogenic VEGF-targeted TKI, their complementary mechanisms of action targeting two key pathways that tumours use to grow…