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Home Industry News Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo approved by NICE for advanced blood cancer

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo approved by NICE for advanced blood cancer

1st August 2017

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo blood cancer drug will be available on the NHS after being given approval by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

The treatment, also known as nivolumab, will be available to patients suffering from classical Hodgkin lymphoma for whom other treatments have not been effective.

Around 30 patients a year could benefit from Opdivo in the first year of it being available, Bristol-Myers Squibb estimates.

Hodgkin lymphoma affects white blood cells, causing them to multiply and become unable to fight infections. Opdivo works by using the patient’s own immune system to destroy the cancer cells, and will be given to patients whose cancer is progressing despite them undergoing a stem cell transplant from their own cells.
It could keep a small proportion of these patients well enough to undergo another stem cell transplant using healthy cells from another person, which could cure the disease.
Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE, said Opdivo offers a “promising treatment” to patients who “often have a poor prognosis with limited options left”.

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