NHS England said on Wednesday that cash to pay for Kymriah would
come from the Cancer Drugs Fund, which was set up to fast-track
access to promising new cancer treatments.
The commercially confidential deal with Novartis comes a week after
the cost agency advising the National Health Service (NHS) on new
drugs recommended against a rival CAR-T treatment for adults made by
Kymriah and Gilead's Yescarta are chimeric antigen receptor T-cell
therapies, or CAR-Ts, which reprogram the body's own immune cells to
attack malignant cells.
The treatments represents a brand new approach to fighting cancer,
since the therapy involves extraction of infection-fighting cells
from a patient. These cells are then genetically engineered to
recognize cancer cells and infused back.
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The process is complex and expensive but it offers hope for people
with certain kinds of blood cancer who have exhausted all other
The full UK list price for Kymriah is 282,000 pounds ($361,750) per
patient. NHS England did not disclose the terms of its deal with
Novartis but Chief Executive Simon Stevens said the rapid deal
showed how "flexible" companies could succeed in getting new drugs
The Kymriah deal comes less than 10 days after the treatment was
granted its European marketing authorization.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by David Evans)
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