Santa Monica-based Kite, a Gilead Co., was given a go-ahead by the United Kingdom to treat some adults with lymphoma with its cell-based cancer therapy that was initially rejected as too costly.
The National Health Service England has entered into an agreement with Kite parent Gilead Sciences Inc. of Foster City to make its CAR-T therapy Yescarta available for adults, the U.K.-based PharmaTimes announced Oct. 8.
It follows approval by the NHS last month to allow the $373,000 CAR-T therapy to be administered to children and young people with the rare blood cancer. In August, the agency’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence had rejected the Kite therapy as too costly.
As many as 200 patients a year in the U.K. are now expected to get the treatment, which reengineers a patient’s immune cells to fight the cancer.
In August, the European Medicines Agency approved Yescarta for use across the European Union.
“This is an important development for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) who may have run out of effective treatment options, leaving them just months to live,” said Shant Salakian, spokesman for Kite, a Gilead Co., in a statement. “Working closely with NHS England, the Cancer Drugs Fund and NICE, we have reached an agreement that allows us to bring this new generation of personalized cancer therapy to patients in the UK less than two months after the marketing authorization of Yescarta.”
Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.