UK – NICE green light for Imfinzi in groundbreaking early lung cancer treatment

Early treatment opens up possibility of cure. AstraZeneca's immunotherapy Imfinzi has been recommended by NICE for patients with stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

England’s cost effectiveness watchdog’s decision follows the EU marketing approval of Imfinzi (durvalumab) in September last year, and opens up a whole new opportunity to tackle lung cancer at an earlier stage.

The drug has been recommended as a monotherapy for treating locally advanced (stage 3), unresectable NSCLC, in adults whose tumour cells have at least 1% PD-L1 expression, and whose disease has not progressed following concurrent platinum-based chemoradiation therapy.

NICE has given the green light via the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), which means Imfinzi must prove its value further before gaining full recommendation.

AstraZeneca says it expects around 300 patients will be eligible for treatment via the CDF during the managed access arrangement. This will end in September 2021, when the final analyses from AZ’s Pacific trial are expected to be available.

The ruling is great news for the company, as it gives Imfinzi its best chance of competing in the NSCLC market, where MSD’s Keytruda has become the overwhelmingly dominant player…