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UK regulator recommends Novartis' lung cancer, AbbVie's hepatitis C drugs

The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended Novartis AG's Zykadia as a treatment option within the National Health Service for adults with untreated ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer.

NICE said Zykadia, or ceritinib, is only recommended if the Swiss drugmaker provides it with the undisclosed discount agreed in the patient access scheme.

Although the clinical study for Zykadia is not yet complete, the therapy was found to be more effective than chemotherapy in increasing the length of time people live without disease progression.

The British regulator had recommended the drug as an option for previously treated ALK-positive lung cancer patients.

Additionally, NICE recommended AbbVie Inc.'s Maviret for treating chronic hepatitis C.

The treatment, also known as glecaprevir plus pibrentasvir, is an additional option suitable for all genotypes, with or without scarring of the liver, and in people who are untreated or have been treated before with interferon-based treatment.

Clinical trials show that the drug is effective for treating chronic hepatitis C across all genotypes, the watchdog noted.

Earlier in 2017, NICE recommended Gilead Sciences Inc.'s Epclusa, or sofosbuvir plus velpatasvir, as a treatment option for all genotypes of chronic hepatitis C.