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Blood cancer drug to be available on NHS.

A NEW blood cancer drug is set to be made available on the NHS after approval by a health watchdog.

The Cardiff-trialled Gazyvaro, also known as obinutuzumab, will be given to patients in England and Wales with previously-untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) - the most common form of the condition in adults.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), which had previously given draft approval to the drug, has issued a positive final appraisal determination recommending the drug for routine use on the NHS.

Previously the watchdog was unable to recommend the drug due to "uncertainties" in the initial submission by medicines research company Roche which looked at its cost-effectiveness of the treatment.

Data from the main trial of the drug, which involved 11 UK centres, showed that Gazyvaro, combined with chemotherapy, reduced the risk of death by 53%. It found that patients remained in remission more than 18 months longer than those receiving chemotherapy alone. Professor Chris Fegan, who led trials of the drug at the University of Wales, Cardiff, said: "Gazyvaro shows a significant advantage compared to chlorambucil chemotherapy alone, balancing both efficacy with tolerability.

"The long-awaited decision made by Nice to approve this drug marks an important new treatment option for both clinicians and their CLL patients."

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 12, 2015
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