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Posted by Target Ovarian Cancer on Thursday 8 February 2018

Today in the news: NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has finished its initial look at funding for new ovarian cancer drug niraparib (Zejula®). NICE has recommended that niraparib be considered for funding on England’s Cancer Drugs Fund, paving the way for the drug to be available to women in England. It is one of just a handful of new treatments for the disease to appear and be assessed for funding in the last decade.

Target Ovarian Cancer gave evidence to NICE’s inquiry into niraparib, ensuring the voices of women with ovarian cancer were heard in the process. Niraparib is one of a new kind of maintenance treatments for ovarian cancer, a PARP inhibitor and the first to be put forward for use to treat women whether they have a BRCA mutation or not.

Now niraparib will go forward to be considered for funding by the Cancer Drugs Fund, the fund that gives access to innovative new treatments which may not otherwise be available.

Rebecca Rennison, Director of Public Affairs and Services at Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “Today’s nod to niraparib marks an important step forward in the availability of ovarian cancer drugs in the UK. While drugs such as bevacizumab (Avastin®) and olaparib (Lynparza®) have become available in the past few years, these are available to only a small number of women with ovarian cancer. This, and the relative lack of treatment options for the 7,000 women diagnosed with this disease each year, was something we stressed when we presented evidence at the NICE inquiry on the future of niraparib.

“During the inquiry we also stressed the importance of ensuring women are offered speedy access to potentially transformative treatments and asked if niraparib could be a candidate for the fast-track Cancer Drugs Fund.

“We now hope that both drug company Tesaro and the Cancer Drugs Fund can work together to ensure this treatment becomes available to women with ovarian cancer at the very earliest opportunity.”

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