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UK regulator recommends J&J's Imbruvica for mantle cell lymphoma

The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended Johnson & Johnson's Imbruvica for use within the National Health Service to treat certain lymphoma patients.

The treatment, also known as ibrutinib, was recommended to treat adults with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma who have had only one previous line of therapy. The regulator recommended the treatment after J&J unit Janssen Biotech Inc. agreed to provide the drug at a discount.

The decision is a reversal of the regulator's August 2016 rejection of Imbruvica in relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma over cost concerns.

Mantle cell lymphoma is a rare non-Hodgkin lymphoma that mostly affects men over 60. Lymphoma, the most common type of blood cancer, affects cells of the immune system.

Imbruvica is jointly developed and commercialized by AbbVie Inc.'s Pharmacyclics LLC and Janssen Biotech.