UK cost body wants more information on Sanofi MS drug Lemtrada

Reuters

LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Britain's healthcarecost-effectiveness watchdog NICE said on Thursday there werestill questions to be answered about Sanofi's newmultiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada before it could decide if theproduct was worth using.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)- the body that decides if drugs should be prescribed on thestate health service - is asking the French firm's Genzyme unitto submit extra information by Jan. 9.

Lemtrada, an injectable treatment also known as alemtuzumab,was approved in Europe in September. It is still awaiting agreen light in the United States, where experts have raisedquestions about its safety and the quality of clinical studies.

The drug was at the heart of Sanofi's lengthy, $20.1 billiontakeover battle for Genzyme, which developed the drug. Sanofifinally acquired Genzyme in 2011.

As part of the takeover deal, Genzyme shareholders receivedcontingent value rights, known as CVRs, entitling themto future payments of up to $14 a share, depending on thesuccess of the medicine.

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