NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has approved Zinbryta (daclizumab) as a treatment for relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis on the NHS in England and Wales.
- relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) and have continued to have relapses while taking one of the other disease modifying drugs; or
- rapidly evolving RRMS (two or more relapses in the previous year and MRI evidence of MS activity).
This reverses an earlier decision by NICE that it did not intend to recommend Zinbryta. When NICE consulted on this decision, the MS Trust responded, arguing that the advantages of Zinbryta had not been adequately taken into account.
"We are pleased that NICE has reversed its earlier decision and has now approved Zinbryta as a treatment for relapsing remitting MS in England and Wales. It further expands the range of disease modifying drugs by offering a different dosing schedule, a different mode of action and a different profile of benefits and risks compared to existing disease modifying drugs."
Pam Macfarlane, Chief Executive Officer, MS Trust
Following a recommendation by NICE, the NHS in England and Wales has three months in which to prepare for prescribing the drug. After that it is expected that the NHS will fund the treatment if a doctor feels it is appropriate.
Zinbryta is also being considered for use by the NHS in Scotland. The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) will publish their decision on 10 April.
Zinbryta (daclizumab) is a disease modifying drug which is self-injected at home once a month. The drug was licensed by the European Medicines Agency in July 2016.
In clinical trials, Zinbryta reduced the number of relapses by about 50% compared to placebo and reduced the number of relapses by 45% compared to beta interferon.
The most common side effects of Zinbryta include infections or swelling of the chest, nose and throat, increased levels of liver enzymes, skin rash or eczema, depression and swollen lymph glands.
Less common, but more severe side effects include serious infections, serious skin reactions and liver damage.