Roche has been invited by NICE to submit a Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) proposal for its immunotherapy treatment, atezolizumab.
Atezolizumab – marketed as Tecentriq – was assessed by NICE as a treatment for people who have advanced urothelial cancer.
The committee agreed that more compelling evidence is needed to prove the drug is both clinically and cost effective. Therefore, they are inviting Roche to submit a CDF proposal.
Including a drug in the CDF means patients can have access to the drug while the company gathers more data.
This additional evidence may then be strong enough for the NICE committee to reconsider the drug and recommend it be available through the NHS.
Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said: “There is a lack of new treatment options for people who have advanced urothelial cancer, so I am very disappointed we’ve not been able to recommend atezolizumab at this stage.
“Funding through the CDF means it could be offered to patients who cannot undergo chemotherapy while we collect more evidence. This will be a positive step for a lot of people.”
Atezolizumab is a form of immunotherapy, a treatment that has been hailed as an innovative way to battle cancer – it works by harnessing the power of the patient’s own immune system to destroy their cancer cells.
Urothelial cancer occurs in the bladder or the ureter. It is the seventh most common cancer in the UK.