The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has requested further evidence on blinatumomab for the treatment of adults with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
The committee concluded that blinatumomab has significant clinical benefits but that further evidence on cost-effectiveness is required to assess its plausibility for NHS funding. NICE has requested further clarification from the manufacturer, Amgen, for the second committee meeting in April.
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is a rare form of cancer that affects the white blood cells. In 2014, approximately 700 people were diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in the UK. Relapse often occurs when small numbers of leukaemia cells are left in the body after treatment, known as minimal residual disease. Minimal residual disease can be measured and is predictive of a person’s disease progression.
Blinatumomab, also known as Blincyto and manufactured by Amgen, is licensed for treating adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative CD19 positive B‑precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. It is for people in first or second complete remission with minimal residual disease greater than or equal to 0.1%. Blinatumomab is administered intravenously and has a list price of £2,017 per 38.5 microgram vial. The average cost of blinatumomab for each treatment cycle at the list price is £56,476.