UK patients with a form of advanced lung cancer will soon be able to access the immunotherapy drug Tecentriq (atezolizumab) in combination with Avastin (bevacizumab), carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy through the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS).

The decision was made following a positive scientific opinion by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and was based on results from a subgroup of patients in the Phase III IMpower150 study.

The study consisted of 1,202 people, of whom 157 were people with EGFR activating or ALK positive tumour mutations who had progressed on or been intolerant to previous tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) therapy.

EAMS aims to give patients with life threatening or seriously debilitating conditions access to medicines that do not yet have a marketing authorisation, when there is a clear unmet medical need.

The combination treatment will be available to adult patients with metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with EGFR activating or ALK positive tumour mutations, after the failure of appropriate targeted therapies.

About 87% of lung cancers in the UK are non-small-cell lung cancer, with over 46,000 new cases of lung cancer being diagnosed each year, and over 35,800 deaths annually.

“We are delighted with the MHRA’s positive scientific opinion in this area of high unmet need," said Simon Eayrs, cancer immunotherapy lead at Roche UK.

"This decision supports our combination approach for Tecentriq in lung cancer and is a best practice example of how we can work together with healthcare bodies to deliver access to innovative medicines faster.”