NICE gives green light to ibrutinib plus venetoclax as first-line treatment option for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

pharmafile | April 24, 2023 | News story | Business Services  

High Wycombe, 21 April 2023 – The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson is pleased to announce that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Imbruvica® (ibrutinib) plus venetoclax as an option for untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) in adults.[1]


CLL is an incurable blood cancer which affects white blood cells and bone marrow.[2] It’s the most common type of leukaemia in adults, with around 3,800 people diagnosed in the UK each year.2,[3] CLL patients may live with a considerable burden of symptoms which have a debilitating effect on their quality of life.1 It’s therefore important for patients to be able to access a range of effective and well-tolerated treatment options.


Hilary Lindsay, Chair of CLL Support said: “We are very pleased that the combination of ibrutinib and venetoclax has been approved by NICE for previously untreated CLL patients. We believe this is a great step forward in the treatment of CLL and will, we are sure, prove to be of huge benefit to patients.”


Amanda Cunnington, Director of Patient Access, Janssen-Cilag Limited said: “We are delighted with NICE’s decision to recommend ibrutinib plus venetoclax, especially since it has been recommended for use in the entire indicated population in England. The availability of this combination therapy will bring a much-needed new treatment option for those living with CLL, and Janssen is proud to have added to our existing ibrutinib-based treatment options for patients across England and Wales. We look forward to seeing eligible patients benefit from this treatment, and remain committed to advancing innovations in blood cancer across the world.”


[1] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Final Draft Guidance. Ibrutinib with venetoclax for untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. April 2023.

[2] CLL Support. About CLL, SLL, and MBL. Available at Last accessed April 2023.

[3] Macmillan Cancer Support. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Available at,on%20other%20types%20of%20leukaemia. Last accessed April 2023.

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