The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its final appraisal determination (FAD) recommending the use of Gilead Sciences and Galapagos’ Jyseleca (filgotinib) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The FAD means that the daily oral pill will now be available on the NHS in England for the treatment of eligible adults patients with moderate-to-severe active RA.

To be eligible, patients with moderate-to-severe RA will have had an inadequate response to intensive therapy with two or more disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

Over 400,000 people in the UK live with RA – a degenerative auto-immune disease that can potentially cause life-threatening complications.

The NICE recommendation for Jyseleca marks the first time in the UK that an advanced therapy has been made available to people with moderate RA.

“Being able to get the debilitating symptoms under control and ideally into remission, can be life changing and it is vital that people have the best chance of achieving this before it’s too late and permanent damage is done,” said Clare Jacklin, chief executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS).

“For many, this [recommendation] could mean remaining in or getting back to work, fully enjoying family life or just getting on with simple things that many of us so often take for granted.  Having an opportunity for earlier intervention will lead I hope to many living a life unburdened by RA,” she added.