Months af­ter Imfinzi com­bo flops, As­traZeneca wins NICE en­dorse­ment as lung can­cer monother­a­py

As­traZeneca’s big bet on a com­bi­na­tion of its check­point in­hibitor Imfinzi and in-house CT­LA-4 drug has proved ex­ceed­ing­ly cost­ly, but the British drug­mak­er has some­thing to cheer about as its PD-L1 in­hibitor made the NICE cut for use in cer­tain NHS pa­tients with non-small-cell lung can­cer, the largest, most lu­cra­tive field of on­col­o­gy.

The drug will be made avail­able by NHS Eng­land for pa­tients with lo­cal­ly ad­vanced un­re­sectable non-small-cell lung can­cer who have been treat­ed with plat­inum-based chemora­di­a­tion. It was ap­proved last Sep­tem­ber by the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion as the on­ly im­munother­a­py to notch the nod in this pa­tient pop­u­la­tion, giv­ing it an edge over Mer­ck’s trail­blaz­ing check­point in­hibitor Keytru­da.

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