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Welsh patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) can now receive treatment with Blincyto▼ on NHS

Blincyto▼, for Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia from Amgen

The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group have recommended Amgen's blinatumomab, brand name Blincyto as an option for use within NHS Wales.

Blincyto is approved as monotherapy for the treatment of paediatric patients aged 1 year or older with Philadelphia chromosome negative CD19 positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

The condition should be refractory (difficult to treat) or in relapse (has come back) after receiving at least two prior therapies or in relapse after receiving prior allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

This recommendation applies only in circumstances where the approved Patient Access Scheme (PAS) is utilised or where the list/contract price is equivalent or lower than the PAS price.

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About Blincyto (source EMA)
Blincyto is a medicine used to treat a blood cancer called B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in patients above 1 year of age when the cancer has come back (relapsed) or has not improved with previous treatment (refractory).

Blincyto is also used in adults who have been treated for B-precursor ALL and have minimal residual disease (which means that they still have some detectable cancer cells in their body).

Blincyto is used in patients who are ‘Philadelphia-chromosome-negative’ which means that the patients’ cancer cells do not have an abnormal chromosome called the Philadelphia chromosome, and in patients who have the protein CD19 on their cancer cells (CD19-positive).

Blincyto contains the active substance blinatumomab and is used on its own.

ALL is rare, and Blincyto was designated an ‘orphan medicine’ (a medicine used in rare diseases) on 24 July 2009.

In B-precursor ALL, certain cells that give rise to B cells (a type of white blood cell) multiply too quickly and eventually these abnormal cells replace normal blood cells.

The active substance in Blincyto, blinatumomab, is an antibody that has been designed to attach to a protein (CD19) found on B cells, including ALL cells. It also attaches to a protein (CD3) on T cells (another type of white blood cell).

Blincyto therefore acts as a ‘bridge’ bringing T cells and B cells together and causing the T cells to release substances that eventually kill the cancerous B cells.

Blincyto was first made available in the EU in 2015. It is manufactured by Amgen.

European Medicines Agency website page for Blincyto
AWMSG website
Accessed 24/04/19
Links available in full article

AWMSG information on blinatumomab (Blincyto)

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