SEATTLE, Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) (NASDAQ and MTA: CTIC) today reported that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the independent body responsible for driving improvement and excellence in the health and social care system in the United Kingdom (UK), has issued its Final Appraisal Determination (FAD) for PIXUVRI ® (pixantrone). The positive final draft guidance determines PIXUVRI cost effective and recommends funding the treatment as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with multiply relapsed or refractory aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (aggressive B-cell NHL), which includes diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). CTI estimates that there are approximately 1,600 to 1,800 people in the UK diagnosed with multiply relapsed aggressive B-cell NHL per year.
James A. Bianco, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of CTI stated, "The positive recommendation by NICE for the funding of PIXUVRI means that physicians in England and Wales now have access to the only approved therapy for their patients with aggressive B-cell NHL in the third- and fourth-line salvage setting."
The NICE Appraisal Committee reviewed CTI's updated data analysis showing PIXUVRI's cost effectiveness and recommended the treatment as an option for certain people with histologically confirmed aggressive B-cell NHL who have previously received rituximab and are receiving PIXUVRI as a third- or fourth-line treatment.
The FAD further recommends the prescription of PIXUVRI for as long as CTI makes the Patient Access Scheme (PAS) available. The PAS is a confidential pricing and access agreement with the UK's Department of Health.The FAD forms the basis of the final guidance to the NHS in England and Wales and is expected to be published in February 2014. Once the final guidance is published, the NHS must fully implement it within 90 days. CTI expects to officially launch PIXUVRI in England and Wales in early spring, when the FAD has been largely implemented. Professor John Radford, a lymphoma expert at The University of Manchester and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester – both part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre said, "DLBCL is the most common type of aggressive NHL and despite undoubted progress over the last 10 years resulting from the introduction of better first-line therapy, the disease still recurs in some patients. The recent recommendation by NICE for the funding of PIXUVRI provides an additional treatment option for these patients and is a welcome development." Professor Finbarr E. Cotter, Professor of Haematology and Chair of Experimental Haematology, Centre for Haemato-Oncology, Barts Cancer Institute, and representative for the British Society for Haematology (BSH) commented, "The availability of PIXUVRI means physicians will be able to extend an approved salvage regimen to those patients that fail second- or third-line therapy. The data from the pivotal EXTEND Phase 3 trial of PIXUVRI clearly indicate that this drug is effective in heavily pretreated patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive NHL." About PIXUVRI (pixantrone) PIXUVRI is a novel aza-anthracenedione with unique structural and physiochemical properties. Unlike related compounds, PIXUVRI forms stable DNA adducts and in preclinical models has superior anti-lymphoma activity compared to related compounds. PIXUVRI was structurally designed so that it cannot bind iron and perpetuate oxygen radical production or form a long-lived hydroxyl metabolite -- both of which are the putative mechanisms for anthracycline induced acute and chronic cardiotoxicity. These novel pharmacologic properties allow PIXUVRI to be administered to patients with near maximal lifetime exposure to anthracyclines without unacceptable rates of cardiotoxicity.