Ipsen’s Cometriq can now be routinely funded by the NHS to treat patients with medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) in England and Wales.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued guidelines recommending the drug as an option for treating progressive MTC in adults with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic disease.

This is a rare cancer, accounting for 3-12 percent of all thyroid cancers, and can spread to the lungs or bone. Approximately 25 percent of MTCs are the result of an inherited faulty gene that runs in the family.

Ipsen picked up certain rights to Cometriq (cabozantinib) - outside the US, Canada and Japan - from Elixis last year in a deal worth $855 million.

The drug was available to patients with MTC via the Cancer Drugs Fund, but a re-appraisal by NICE concluded that it was cost-effective enough for routine commissioning.