The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is now recommending Novartis’ Farydak as a third-line treatment for patients with multiple myeloma after initially rejecting the drug for NHS use earlier this year.

In a Final Appraisal Document the Institute has now given its blessing for Farydak (panobinostat) in combination with Janssen’s Velcade (bortezomib) and dexamethasone as an option for adult patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior regimens, after Novartis successfully answered queries raised during the original consultation.

The endorsement is, however, dependent on the provision of the drug with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme, which secures its cost effectiveness.

Farydak is the first cancer medicine to target enzymes known as histone deacetylases, offering a novel mechanism of action different from other MM treatments on the market. 


Clinical data underpinning the drug's European approval earlier this month show that it can boost progression-free survival; patients receiving the Farydak regimen saw a delay in their disease progression of about 7.8 months more than those given Velcade/dexamethasone alone.  

Novartis said it is pleased with NICE’s decision. “This recommendation is a clear recognition that panobinostat represents an important treatment option within the management of multiple myeloma as well as a cost effective use of NHS resources,” the firm noted in an emailed statement.

Myeloma UK chief executive Eric Low said: “We are delighted that this important new treatment for myeloma has been approved by NICE. It is great news for patients at a time of so much uncertainty around access to cancer treatments in England. 

“We applaud the efforts and willingness of everybody involved, especially the NICE Appraisal Committee and the manufacturer Novartis, in working together to deliver a positive outcome for patients.”