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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Kite’s CAR T therapy now funded for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Health Industry Hub | August 5, 2021 |
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Pharma News: Gilead Sciences’ Kite Pharma announced that its Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel), is now publicly funded and available to patients in Australia.

Yescarta is now funded for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory CD-19 positive; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL) and high grade B-cell lymphoma (HGBCL) who meet the eligibility criteria.

Haematologist and Lead of the Aggressive Lymphoma disease group at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Royal Melbourne Hospital, Associate Professor Michael Dickinson, said “Many people living with these four forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, who have either not responded to treatment or where their cancer has returned, have an urgent need for new therapy options to treat this aggressive blood cancer.”

Yescarta is available at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane. Additional treatment sites will be available in Sydney in the near future.

This follows earlier news from Novartis on the availability and funding for CAR T therapy Kymriah in Australia.

Sharon Winton, CEO, Lymphoma Australia, commented “Until recently Australian patients with the approved four aggressive lymphoma subtypes had a very poor prognosis. To have access to another CAR T cell therapy option in Australia is very welcome news for these patients and their families.”

Jaime McCoy, General Manager, Gilead Sciences Australia and New Zealand, commented “We are extremely proud that Yescarta is now publicly funded in Australia, providing a new therapy option for those faced with the uncertainty and challenges of an aggressive lymphoma diagnosis. We thank all our partners, including the teams at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital who have worked tirelessly to make this therapy available to eligible adult Australians with DLBCL, PMBCL, TFL and HGBCL.”

Kite Pharma does not expect Yescarta to stop at the late-line therapy stage for lymphoma. The company announced new data in June supporting a potential move earlier in the treatment sequence.

The ZUMA-7 trial results showed superiority of Yescarta with an impressive 60.2% improvement in event-free survival (EFS) compared to standard of care in second-line relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL).


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