Cost regulators for the National Health Service in England and Wales are backing the use of Daiichi Sankyo’s bloodthinner Lixiana to treat and prevent recurrence of blood clots.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published draft guidelines this morning endorsing the use of Lixiana (edoxaban) as an option for treating and preventing the recurrence of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. 

The drug is a once-daily selective factor Xa-inhibitor belonging to the Non-VKA Oral Anti-Coagulants (NOACs) class, which, in clinical trials, was shown work as well veteran anticoagulant warfarin but with a superior safety profile, significantly reducing the risk of major bleeds.

“Venous thromboembolism has a high rate of recurrence, which can be fatal. We need more tools to protect patients from a second incident and edoxaban will be of great use to doctors to help tailor treatments to specific patients,” said Alexander Cohen, consultant vascular physician from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, Kings College London, welcoming the decision.

Publication of NICE’s Final Appraisal Determination comes just weeks after Lixiana received European approval in the VTE/PE indication, as well for the prevention of stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

Daily treatment with the drug costs £2.10 per patient (excluding locally negotiated discounts), and the Institute concluded that its incremental cost effectiveness ratio was likely to fall in line with other oral anticoagulants.