There may yet be hope for AstraZeneca’s Lynparza in the UK as NICE offers the company the chance to provide more evidence in a specific indication.

The latest appraisal consultation document on Lynparza (olaparib) reiterates that the pricing watchdog does not recommend the drug for women with BRCA mutated ovarian cancer who have had fewer than three courses of chemotherapy. This decision was based on  “uncertain” evidence that the drug could extend life coupled with an estimated cost of almost £50,000 per QALY gained.

However, NICE has not yet completely made its mind up on whether or not to recommend Lynparza in women who have had three or more courses of chemotherapy, and has requested that AstraZeneca submits further information specifically focused on this population.

The drug’s chances still look slim, but AstraZeneca is looking on the positive side.

“While AstraZeneca continues to be extremely disappointed that NICE has not recommended second-line treatment with Lynparza according to its licensed indication in Europe, the opportunity to secure a positive recommendation for patients who have had three or more courses of platinum-based chemotherapy is welcomed,” the company said in a statement.

“We will focus on providing NICE with the relevant information it needs to make Lynparza available to NHS patients in England and Wales.

“AstraZeneca firmly believes in the value of Lynparza to patients and the NHS. The scientific and clinical data supporting olaparib in BRCAm ovarian cancer are unprecedented and demonstrate a consistent benefit when used as both a second and third line of treatment.”

The company adds that NICE has stated that the end-of-life criteria could apply to the third-line population, which could increase the cost per QALY threshold from £30,000 to £50,000 and give Lynparza a better chance in this area.