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‘Tepotinib’ has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to patients with a specific gene mutation of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The new potentially life-extending drug is available from Thursday (14 April). It has been recommended for routine use across the NHS in England through Project Orbis, a programme to review and approve promising cancer drugs helping patients access treatments faster.

NICE has published its final appraisal document recommending tepotinib (also known as Tepmetko and produced by company Merck Serono Ltd) as an option for treating advanced NSCLC with METex14 skipping gene alterations in adults.

People with METex14 skipping alterations of NSCLC make up between 1-2% of all adults with lung cancer in England.

Tepotinib, which requires people to take two tablets once daily, provides a new targeted treatment for adults with METex14 skipping gene alterations. Just over 700 people in England would be eligible to receive tepotinib as either a first or second-line treatment.

Clinical trial evidence, which included examining previous trial data and analysing real-world data, shows that although there is limited data, tepotinib may extend life.

Tepotinib is likely be offered as a first-line treatment for people with METex14 skipping NSCLC, once it has been confirmed by genomic testing. Medical practitioners would continue to use other first-line treatment options until the mutation had been confirmed.

Professor Dame Sue Hill, chief scientific officer and Senior Responsible Officer for Genomics in the NHS, says: “The approval of this new treatment is fantastic news and to ensure patients receive it, the genomic test for this particular type of lung cancer will be added it to the National Genomic Test Directory.

“This means patients carrying the gene mutation can benefit from the most effective treatments and it’s a great example of how the NHS Genomic Medicine Service is harnessing the power of genomics to deliver precision medicine straight to patients.”

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