LONDON (Reuters) – A cutting-edge CAR-T cell remedy for in any other case untreatable types of blood most cancers is simply too costly to justify its use on Britain’s state-funded well being service, the nation’s healthcare price company NICE stated on Tuesday.
A Gilead Sciences, Inc. workplace is proven in Foster City, California, U.S. May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
The resolution by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is a blow to U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences (GILD.O), which needs to get its Yescarta product accepted to be used on the National Health Service (NHS).
The NICE rejection comes sooner or later after the European Commission accepted Yescarta for 2 aggressive types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. That inexperienced gentle cleared the best way for every European nation to resolve on whether or not to fund the treatment.
Yescarta is the primary CAR-T remedy to be assessed by NICE. The company is presently appraising Novartis’s (NOVN.S) rival Kymriah, which additionally gained EU approval on Monday. NICE consultants met final week to think about preliminary suggestions on the Swiss agency’s product, a spokesman stated.
Both Yescarta and Kymriah are chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies, or CAR-Ts, which reprogramme the physique’s personal immune cells to assault malignant cells.
The remedies represents a model new method to combating most cancers, for the reason that remedy includes extraction of infection-fighting cells from a affected person. These cells are then genetically engineered to recognise most cancers cells and infused again.
The course of is complicated and costly but it surely provides hope for individuals with sure sorts of blood most cancers who have exhausted all different treatment choices.
Meindert Boysen, director of the centre for well being know-how analysis at NICE, stated Yescarta was “an exciting innovation in very difficult to treat cancers, with a promise of cure for some patients” however stated its worth was too excessive for it to be thought-about cost-effective.
The U.S. checklist worth for Yescarta is $373,000. The UK worth is confidential. NICE stated Gilead had proposed a “commercial arrangement” if Yescarta was really useful. Typically, drugmakers present worth reductions in alternate for NHS entry.
Gilead stated it was “in ongoing discussions with NICE to identify appropriate treatment comparators which can clarify how cell therapy may be made available to patients in the UK”.
Raj Chopra, head of most cancers therapeutics on the Institute of Cancer Research in London, stated the NICE rejection was disappointing for sufferers.
“If we’re going to see CAR-T therapy widely available on the NHS, we need to find ways to reduce the costs,” he stated.
Yescarta was accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October.
Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Edmund Blair