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UK’s NICE invites Roche to submit CDF proposal for urothelial cancer drug

PBR Staff Writer Published 03 August 2017

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has turned down Roche’s urothelial cancer drug atezolizumab citing the need for stronger evidence in clinical and cost effectiveness.

Marketed as Tecentriq, atezolizumab was assessed by NICE as a treatment option for patients with advanced urothelial cancer.

The UK drug watchdog has suggested Roche to file a Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) proposal for the immunotherapy treatment.

By including a drug in the CDF, patients can have access to it even as more data is collected to establish its effectiveness.

NICE says that after a CDF proposal is filed and more evidence for atezolizumab is collected, then Roche presents itself with a strong case for a reconsideration and recommendation for the drug’s availability through the National Health Service (NHS).

NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation Director Professor Carole Longson said: “There is a lack of new treatment options for people who have advanced urothelial cancer, so I am very disappointed we’ve not been able to recommend atezolizumab at this stage.

“I hope Roche will work with us to submit a CDF proposal. Funding through the CDF means it could be offered to patients who cannot undergo chemotherapy while we collect more evidence.”

In late July, the European Union Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) announced a positive opinion for atezolizumab in a type of lung cancer and two types of advanced bladder cancer.

CHMP has recommended for the drug’s approval in Europe as a monotherapy for treating adults with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who previously had undergone chemotherapy.

Atezolizumab has also been recommended by CHMP as a monotherapy for the treating adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) who were treated previously with a platinum-based chemotherapy or who are not eligible for cisplatin chemotherapy.

Image: A Roche employee testing pharmacokinetic properties of drug candidates. Photo: courtesy of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.