UK – NICE turns down Opdivo/Yervoy combo for kidney cancer

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published draft guidelines rejecting NHS funds for Opdivo/Yervoy for untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Explaining the decision, the Institute said that while clinical trial evidence shows that the Opdivo (nivolumab)/Yervoy (ipilimumab) combination “is substantially more effective” than Pfizer’s sunitinib for people with untreated advanced intermediate- or poor-risk renal cell carcinoma, whether the survival benefit would be maintained in the long-term is “uncertain”.

Cost-effectiveness estimates for the therapy are higher than what NICE normally considers acceptable, despite a commercial arrangement designed to reduce the its cost to the NHS.

The combination was approved in the US earlier this year for first-line use in kidney cancer patients on the back of data from the Phase III CheckMate-214 clinical trial, which showed “a significant and unprecedented increase in overall survival (OS) in this patient population compared to a current standard of care, sunitinib,” according to BMS…