National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended GSK’s ZEJULA®▼ (niraparib) on the NHS in England for women with advanced high-grade epithelial ovarian cancer, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer.
Niraparib is a maintenance therapy – a once-daily oral medicine given when advanced ovarian cancer is in remission in order to delay its return. The aim of treatment is to put off the need for further chemotherapy for as long possible, allowing women to live the best quality of life they can. It is a PARP inhibitor and works by preventing ovarian cancer cells from being able to repair damage to their DNA.
It will now be made immediately available via the Cancer Drugs Fund for women regardless of whether or not they have a BRCA gene mutation. This means that up to 3,000 people could potentially benefit from this medicine, which has been shown to significantly delay progression of this aggressive cancer.
Jonathan Ledermann, Professor of Medical Oncology at the UCL Cancer Institute and Director of the Cancer Research UK and UCL Cancer Trials Centre said: “Today’s decision marks a turning point in advanced ovarian cancer treatment, allowing clinicians to use a key therapy at an earlier phase of treatment and in many more women than ever before. This could significantly increase the likelihood that we can delay a woman’s cancer from progressing – for months, perhaps even years longer than is currently possible. Maintenance therapy has already changed how we treat ovarian cancer and the decision to recommend niraparib is yet another important step forward on this journey.”
Victoria Clare, Chief Executive Officer at Ovacome said: “Today’s news will bring deep relief to a great many women with advanced ovarian cancer, offering them the reassurance that they will be able to access the therapy that they need on the NHS. It is vital that women are given every opportunity to live as full a life as possible, for as long as possible. This is what today’s decision offers and why it is so important to so many women.”
Marc Clausse, UK Oncology Business Unit Head, GSK said: “GSK is delighted that all eligible women in England with advanced ovarian cancer will soon be able to potentially benefit from niraparib on the NHS. Maintenance therapy has become a mainstay of treatment in advanced ovarian cancer and making sure it is available as early as possible is key to keeping this debilitating cancer at bay for as long as possible. At GSK, we are extremely proud to be part of this historic milestone which takes us one step closer to reaching our goal to maximise survival and quality of life for people in the UK living with cancer.”