The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Hansa Biopharma’s imlifidase (Idefirix) for the desensitisation of highly sensitised adults before kidney transplant from a deceased donor.

An enzyme, imlifidase is administered before a kidney transplant to avoid rejection of the donated kidney by the immune system. 

It acts by disintegrating a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G (IgG), which aids in protecting the body against foreign or harmful substances.

The treatment is intended for people who are greatly sensitised to human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) to prevent the body from rejecting the donor organ.

HLAs play an important role in the immune system’s response to foreign substances.

Individuals who are greatly sensitive to HLAs are at increased risk of their kidney transplant being rejected due to the response of the immune system to the surgery.

With the latest development, more than 100 individuals in England and Wales will be eligible to receive imlifidase.

The recommendation is based on considering the treatment’s cost-effectiveness, clinical efficacy and the substantial unmet need of the patients it serves.

NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation medicines evaluation interim director Helen Knight said: “People who are highly sensitised to HLAs can often be waiting a long time for a kidney transplant

“They are often on dialysis, and this can have a significant impact on their quality of life.

“Imlifidase gives people a greater chance of having a successful kidney transplant and a better quality of life in future.”

Prior to this development, NICE recommended Amarin’s icosapent ethyl (Vazkepa) to lower the risk of cardiovascular events in adults with elevated levels of triglycerides.