The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has asked for more information on Gilead’s Zydelig to help its assessment of whether the drug could be a cost-effective option for use in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

In preliminary guidelines, the cost watchdog has rejected routine National Health Service funding for Zydelig (idelalisib) for first-line use in untreated CLL patients carrying a 17p deletion or TP53 mutation, or in those with CLL which has been treated but has relapsed.

The Institute has, however, asked for more information on Gilead on Zydelig in combination with Roche’s MabThera (rituximab) for adults with CLL whose disease is resistant to other treatments when it is not considered appropriate to treat again with previous therapies.

Gilead has until July 15 to submit this information.

Again highlighting the unequal care landscape across the UK, while it is currently looking unlikely that CLL patients will get NHS access to Zydelig in England and Wales, the Scottish Medicines Consortium backed the drug’s use in patients with relapsed CLL who are unsuitable for chemotherapy, and as a first-line treatment for those with the specific genetic mutations.