Novartis multiple sclerosis treatment recommended by NICE

pharmafile | April 20, 2021 | News story | Manufacturing and Production NICE, Novartis, multiple sclerosis, pharma, pharma news 

NICE have recommenced Novartis’ ofatumumab (Kesimpta) for the treatment of relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) in adult patients for use on the NHS in England and Wales.

The body concluded that Kesimpta is a cost-effective medicine that can be used as either a first-line treatment, or after other therapies for people with RRMS. The news comes just two weeks after Kesimpta gained marketing authorisation from the MHRA. 

The recommendation does not apply to Scotland, with The Scottish Medicines Consortium expected to publish its final advice later this year.

Kesimpta is the first targeted b-cell therapy that can be self-administered at home via auto-injection, avoiding the need for patients to travel to hospital during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision is based on Phase III trial data that demonstrated the benefits of Kesimpta to patients with RRMS, when compared to teriflunomide (a commonly prescribed oral disease modifying therapy for RRMS). Kesimpta resulted in less frequent relapses, reduced inflammatory activity (evidenced by MRI scans), and prolonged time to disability worsening.

RRMS is the most common form of MS, with around 85% of people considered to have RRMS at the point of diagnosis. While MS symptoms are different for everyone, those living with RRMS often experience patterns of new or worsening of old symptoms, lasting for a period of 24 hours or more.

David Martin, CEO of the Multiple Sclerosis Trust, said: ”People living with MS need access to a range of different treatment options so they can work with their doctor to find the one that’s best for them.

“As the first self-injectable B-cell therapy for RRMS, ofatumumab offers a new way for people living with multiple sclerosis to fit treatment into their lives. Without the need for regular hospital visits, even those who live a long way from a specialist centre will be able to access treatment that could reduce disease activity and help them continue to do the things that matter most to them.”

Chinmay Bhatt, Managing Director UK, Ireland & Nordics for Novartis Pharmaceuticals, added: “We are proud to bring innovative medicines to people living with MS. Ofatumumab is an effective treatment that can be administered at home, moving care outside of the hospital setting; and therefore supporting the NHS to recover from the pressures of COVID-19 and alleviating concern for people living with MS.”

Jack Goddard

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