Verzenios in combination with endocrine treats people with early breast cancer who are at high-risk of recurrence

Eli Lilly has announced that Verzenios – also known as abemaciclib – in combination with endocrine therapy, has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It is an adjuvant treatment of hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative, node-positive early breast cancer and specifically involves adults whose disease is at high risk of recurrence.

This positive recommendation means that Verzenios is now available for use across NHS England via interim funding by the Cancer Drugs Fund or until routine NHS baseline funding is in place. The news comes just four weeks after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted marketing authorisation in the UK.

Professor Stephen Johnston, consultant medical oncologist and head of the breast unit at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, explained: “It’s a privilege to see the compelling results from the monarchE trial, which was a huge international effort, translate into a new treatment option for HR+ and HER2- breast cancer patients who have a high risk of their cancer recurring.”

“Despite previously receiving the very best standard of care treatment, this high-risk node-positive group represents about 5,000 breast cancer patients each year who are at a much higher risk of their disease returning. For them abemaciclib is a significant breakthrough and is the first new treatment for this patient group in 20 years. I’m delighted that it will be available on the NHS for eligible patients to help reduce their risk of recurrence,” he continued.

“This is encouraging news for patients and exciting to see the decision so quickly after receiving marketing authorisation in May, with the UK one of the first countries in the world to recommend access for patients,” concluded Dr Jeff Yang, an associate vice president at Eli Lilly.