Roche’s Hemlibra scores further funding from the NHS


Hemlibra will now be available to a further 2000 patients living with Haemophilia A, a huge expansion into the market for an already very successful drug. Hemlibra achieved global sales of $538m in the first half of 2019.

The agreement between NHS funding and Roche would have no doubt involved tough negotiation on the behalf of the NHS, with the market access agreement once again being agreed through direct pricing. In these discussions there was no involvement from NICE.

This expansion follows the first agreement that was made on the 28th July for approval of Hemlibra in people with haemophilia A with inhibitors (antibodies that prevent patients responding to standard factor VIII therapies) of which this accounted for 230 UK patients.
This new expansion for patients without inhibitors, extends it by approximately 2000 patients. And with an estimated 5,930 patients registered with haemophilia A, this results in Hemlibra being available to around a third of all patients.

Hemlibra is seen as a preferred alternative to VIII replacement drugs because it has been proven to significantly reduce bleeding as well as providing multiple dosing options as opposed to factor VIII drugs which have to administered multiple times a week.

This news has been met with widespread approval with both the Chief Executive of the NHS and Chief Executive of the Haemophilia society praising the decision with both representatives highlighting the advantage of the reduced intravenous infusions that is required with current treatments.

However how long will Hemlibra have this success for, as Alnylam has a late stage candidate fitusiran which is widely tipped as a competitor to Hemlibra as well as the first gene therapies set to hit the stage as well, with BioMarin in prime position with its candidate valrox, which is to be submitted at the end of 2019.

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