UK cost agency backs Medivation, Astellas prostate cancer pill


LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Britain's healthcare costwatchdog NICE has recommended that a new prostate cancer pillfrom Medivation and Astellas should be used onthe state health service.

The draft guidance is conditional on Xtandi being providedat an undisclosed discount to the list price of 2,734.67 pounds($4,400) for 28 days supply, the National Institute for Healthand Clinical Excellence (NICE) said on Friday.

Xtandi, known chemically as enzalutamide, is designed totreat advanced prostate cancer in patients who have previouslyreceived chemotherapy.

It is one of four new life-extending prostate cancer drugsthat researchers from Britain's Institute of Cancer Research(ICR) have helped to develop in recent years. The others areJohnson & Johnson's Zytiga, Sanofi's Jevtana,and Xofigo from Algeta and Bayer.

Alan Ashworth, chief executive of the ICR, said these drugsoffered hope for men after decades in which there had been nooptions once old-style hormone treatment stopped working.

"What we're seeing now is an unprecedented period of successfor prostate cancer research," he said. "It truly is a goldenage for prostate cancer drug discovery and development."

Zytiga is already recommended by NICE but Jevtana wasrejected as not being cost-effective. The agency has yet to giveits verdict on Xofigo, which is on sale in the United States butnot yet launched in Europe.

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