The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group has approved the use of Genzyme’s Mozobil on the National Health Service in Wales to improve the outcome for patients undergoing stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma and lymphoma.

According to Genzyme, Mozobil (plerixafor), a new ‘stem cell mobilisation’ therapy, can quickly boost the number of stem cells in the blood, thereby offering new hope for the approximate 19% of patients with myeloma and lymphoma who might otherwise not be able to generate sufficient stem cells for a successful transplant.

“Historically, a proportion of patients would not have collected adequate numbers of stem cells using existing techniques to proceed to transplant. This week’s decision will, I hope, allow more patients to ultimately receive what can be lifesaving or life-prolonging treatment through stem cell transplantation,” commented Keith Wilson, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Haematology Cardiff University and Consultant Haematologist and Bone Marrow Transplant Director University Hospital of Wales.

Mozobil has been approved for use in combination with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), at an estimated gross direct cost of around £231,000 per year, and the AWMSG nod - which is interim to guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence - follows a green light from the Scottish Medicines Consortium earlier this year.

More than 1,000 patients in Europe have already received Mozobil through compassionate use programmes for patients who failed to mobilise enough cells for transplantation using the current standards of care, or were predicted to fail based on clinical laboratory indicators.