The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has added avelumab (Bavencio, Merck) with axitinib (Inlyta, Pfizer) to England's Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) as a first-line combination treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma.
NICE said around 1600 patients could benefit from the new treatment.
Avelumab, an immune checkpoint inhibitor targeting PD-L18, is administered via IV drip every fortnight. Axitinib, an antiangiogenic VEGF-targeted TKI, is taken orally twice daily.
In making its decision NICE cited the JAVELIN Renal 101 clinical trial, which showed patients on the combination therapy living without the disease getting worse for an average of around 5 months longer than those on the current treatment, sunitinib.
More Treatment Options
Final trial results are not yet available but NICE said the treatment has the potential to be cost-effective. It is being supplied under a confidential NHS discount.
The list price for avelumab is £768.00 per 200 mg vial or £3072.00 per 800 mg fixed dose.
The list prices for axitinib packs of 56 tablets range from £703.40 for 1 mg tablets to £4923.80 for 7 mg tablets.
In a statement, Meindert Boysen, deputy chief executive and director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said: "The committee heard from patient representatives that having more first-line treatment options for advanced renal cell carcinoma would be welcomed, as it would allow for more individualised treatment plans to better control the disease.
"We’re therefore pleased that, because of the joint working between the two companies, NHS England and NHS Improvement and NICE, eligible patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma will be able to access this combination therapy from today on the CDF, while more clinical data is collected."
Professor Peter Johnson, NHS clinical director for cancer, added: "The NHS continues to introduce the latest, most innovative cancer treatments for patients, like this one, thanks to pharmaceutical companies working constructively with the NHS."