The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved US biotech Celgene’s Imnovid (pomalidomide) in combination with dexamethasone for use in relapsed myeloma patients.
The drug is specifically approved for patients who have received at least two prior treatments, including Velcade and Revlimid.
Following the approval, the drug will now be immediately available for myeloma patients.
NICE centre for health technology evaluation director Carole Longson said: “Treating multiple myeloma can be difficult because the disease often relapses and drugs can stop working. Pomalidomide offers patients a clinically effective and well-tolerated oral treatment.”
“It’s great news that our independent committee were able to recommend pomalidomide for routine use after updated data and a confidential discount were taken into account when reviewing our original decision on this drug.”
In September 2015, Imnovid was turned down by NICE and delisted from the Cancer Drugs Fund.
Myeloma UK chief executive Eric Low said: “Pomalidomide is an effective treatment that will fill a major gap in the treatment pathway for patients at third relapse and beyond.
In September 2013, the drug received its European licence from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
It is from a class of drugs called immunomodulatory drugs, which work in a similar way to thalidomide and Revlimid.
Imnovid is already available for relapsed myeloma patients in Scotland and Wales and will be made available to others within three months of NICE issuing final guidance, expected in January next year.
Image: Pomalidomide is specifically approved for patients who have received at least two prior treatments, including Velcade and Revlimid. Photo: courtesy of Myeloma UK.