Pfizer has announced the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approval of Ibrance (palbociclib), following a final guidance from the organisation.

The potentially life-extending drug will now be available for patients with hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative, advanced breast cancer, who have already had endocrine therapy.

The med, which will be available on the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) in combination with fulvestrant, joins two other NICE-approved drugs - (Kisqali) ribociclib and Verzenios (abemaciclib) – as an option at this stage of the treatment pathway.

The recommendation is based on data from the Phase III clinical trial, PALOMA-3, in which Ibrance delayed disease progression by 6.6 months, compared to fulvestrant alone.

The cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) inhibitor works by inhibiting proteins in cancer cells, thereby preventing the cells from dividing and growing.

Pfizer says that because of the approval, the treatment could be an option for up to 3,300 women who have already had endocrine treatment and where exemestane plus everolimus would be the most appropriate alternative to a CDK 4/6 inhibitor.

Meindert Boysen, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation said that the organisation is “pleased that the company has agreed a managed access agreement that will allow palbociclib to be made available within the Cancer Drugs Fund as a further treatment option for people with this type of breast cancer.”

In the advanced stages of the disease it is incurable, and in the UK only 15% of women will live beyond five years, meaning there is a real need for innovative treatment options that can delay disease progression and help women feel well for longer.