Janssen’s Imbruvica will be routinely available on the NHS to treat certain patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), after cost regulators issued a final green light for the drug.

In final guidelines, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has approved funding for Imbruvica (ibrutinib) when used to treat the condition in people who have had only one prior line of therapy.

The Institute previously said it could not recommend the drug for the entire MCL patient population as it did not offer the NHS value for money, but that, in the second-line setting, Imbruvica could be considered within ‘end-of-life’ thresholds and its cost effectiveness is likely to be less than £49,848 per QALY gained.

The endorsement is also contingent upon the continued provision of the drug with the confidential discount agreed in the commercial access agreement with NHS England.

Imbruvica is the first in a class of medicines known as Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors, which are designed to specifically block the BTK protein from causing malignant B cells to multiply and spread.