The Health Service Executive (HSE) has granted reimbursement for Pierre Fabre’s Braftovi (encorafenib) and Mektovi (binimetinib) combination in Ireland.

The treatment has been accepted for use on the Irish health service to treat adult patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with a mutation in the BRAF V600 gene.

The reimbursement means that eligible patients in the Republic of Ireland can potentially benefit from the combination with immediate effect, and comes off the back of data from the pivotal Phase III COLUMBUS trial.

The data revealed that the combo achieved a median overall survival (OS) of 33.6 months, compared with 16.9 months for patients treated with Zelboraf (vemurafenib) as monotherapy.

Laura McMullin, general manager UK & Ireland said that the reimbursement is “great news for Irish melanoma patients”, and that the company are “pleased that the HSE has been able to recognise encorafenib in combination with binimetinib as an efficacious and cost-effective therapy so quickly.”

She continued, “We are committed to providing patient access in difficult-to-treat cancers.”

Metastatic melanoma is one of the most serious and life-threatening types of skin cancer, and is responsible for the majority of skin cancer deaths in Ireland. There are over 1,000 cases of melanoma diagnosed on average per year in Ireland, making it one of the most common cancers.