The Department of Health has referred a new set of drugs for appraisal by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), including the use of one in the treatment of both colorectal cancer and wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

NICE will examine the clinical and cost-effectiveness of aflibercept, marketed by Bayer and Regeneron as Eylea/VEGF Trap-Eye, within its licensed indication for the first-line treatment of wet AMD. The Institute is also looking at the drug's use in combination with irinotecan and fluorouracil-based therapy for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer which has progressed following prior oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy, in which indication it is marketed by Sanofi and Regeneron as Zaltrap.

Also referred by the Department for NICE appraisal of clinical and cost-effectiveness, within their licensed indications, are:

- Pfizer's Inlyta (axitinib) for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma after failure of prior systemic treatment;

- Savient's Krystexxa (pegloticase) for the treatment of hyperuricaemia in people with symptomatic gout whose disease is refractory to conventional urate-lowering therapy, or in whom such therapy is contraindicated or not tolerated;

- Eli Lilly's Alimta (pemetrexed) for maintenance treatment of non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer for people whose disease has not progressed following induction therapy with Alimta and cisplatin;

- Novartis/Incyte Corp's Jakafi (ruxolitinib) for the treatment of myelofibrosis; and

- AstraZeneca/Bristol-Myers Squibb's dapagliflozin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

In this latest round of topic referrals, NICE is also set to develop 10 quality standards covering: - acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding; - autism in adults; - caesarean section; - fertility; - hypertension in pregnancy; - lower urinary tract symptoms; - multiple pregnancy; - pain and bleeding in early pregnancy; - rheumatoid arthritis; and - self-harm.

In addition, NICE will produce five new clinical guidelines on: - diagnosis and management of acute heart failure; - diagnosis and management of bladder cancer; - investigation and management of gastro-oesophageal reflux in children; - diagnosis and management of drug allergy; and - diagnosis and management of pneumonia, including community-acquired pneumonia.