NICE recommends Vitrakvi (larotrectinib) for use on Cancer Drugs Fund

Larotrectinib has been given a positive opinion by NICE, following the submission of a revised price after it was previously rejected.

Cancer cells

The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Vitrakvi (larotrectinib), a treatment for many different cancer types, for use on the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF). 

Produced by Bayer, the medicine is a histology independent cancer treatment that targets all solid tumours with a neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) genetic mutation, regardless of where the primary tumour is in the patient’s body.

This therapy is now set to benefit adults and children with advanced NTRK fusion-positive solid tumours, who have no satisfactory treatment options.

This positive recommendation is a change to the initial decision where the price of larotrectinib was too high to be considered cost-effective. There was also uncertainty in the clinical evidence as larotrectinib has not been compared with other treatments.

The company has since submitted a new price which now means patients can access larotrectinib through the CDF while further data can be collected to address some of the clinical uncertainties.

Meindert Boysen, deputy chief executive and director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said: “Histology independent medicines, like larotrectinib, are an exciting new development in the treatment of cancer. These cutting-edge therapies can be used to treat tumours with often rare genetic mutations regardless of where in the body the tumour originated. The clinical evidence is usually based on extremely small sample sizes, requiring novel approaches to testing them in clinical trials and translation into models of assessment for potential value in National Health Service (NHS) practice. 

“We’re therefore pleased to be able to recommend larotrectinib for use in the CDF while more data is collected on its clinical effectiveness and we recognise the contribution of our appraisal committee, the company and other stakeholders.”

The final appraisal document can be found here.