In its draft updated guidance published today, NICE has said eribulin (also called Halaven and made by Eisai) should be an option for people with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer that has spread after at least 2 chemotherapy regimens (which may include an anthracycline or a taxane, and capecitabine).

Eribulin is recommended only if the company provides it with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme. The drug has been available in the Cancer Drugs Fund and NICE is now recommending it provisionally for routine use.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“This is immensely positive news. Eribulin is the first breast cancer drug in a decade to be approved and this represents real progress for certain patients in England. “It offers a crucial life-extending alternative for patients whose breast cancer has become resistant to other therapies, and for those with triple negative disease, who desperately lack treatment options.

“But the real tests are still yet to come and we now eagerly await NICE’s decision on the even more effective drugs being appraised, including Kadcyla. With the appraisal process that has rejected the previous ten breast cancer treatments seeing little meaningful reform, we unfortunately do not believe today’s decision to be the beginning of a new trend.”