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UK approves Novartis CAR-T therapy for children with blood cancer

The U.K. National Health Service reached a commercial deal with Novartis AG to make the Swiss drugmaker's personalized chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy Kymriah available to children and young people with a type of blood cancer.

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Kymriah, also known as tisagenlecleucel, costs about £282,000 per patient at its full list price and is licensed to treat patients up to 25 years of age suffering from B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia that has returned after treatment.

The therapy is designed to reprogram a patient's own immune system cells, which are then used to target their cancer.

The drug recently received approval in the EU to treat blood cancer.

The NHS approval comes a week after health authorities in England rejected a similar treatment by Gilead Sciences Inc. called Yescarta.