UK – NICE OKs NHS funding for Gilead’s CAR T-cell therapy

Gilead’s CAR T-cell therapy Yescarta will be available on the NHS to some adults with lymphoma.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says the treatment can be funded via the Cancer Drugs Fund for adults with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma or primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, two aggressive subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Yescarta (axicabtagene-ciloleucel) will be offered to people whose disease has not responded after two or more rounds of chemotherapy or relapsed after a stem cell transplant.

The Institute initially rejected the drug for being too expensive, but a subsequent confidential commercial deal between NHS England and Gilead group Kite has increased its potential cost effectiveness.

“As we prepare to publish the NHS’s long term plan, this constructive and fast-track negotiation shows how the NHS is leading from the front by ensuring patients in England are among the first in the world to benefit from this immensely promising treatment,” said John Stewart, NHS England’s director of specialised commissioning.

Around 200 people each year in England will be eligible treatment with Yescarta, which will be available at seven hospitals as the service is rolled out across the country.

NICE said NHS England is working closely with the sites to “ensure the clinical, technical and operational requirements are in place to provide this new, complex treatment”…