LONDON May 28 Britain's healthcare
cost-effectiveness watchdog is recommending Sanofi's
new multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada as a treatment option on
the state health service, it said on Wednesday.
The green light follows previous uncertainty about the value
of the product, which led the National Institute for Health and
Care Excellence (NICE) to call in December for more information
from the manufacturer.
Lemtrada, an injectable treatment also known as alemtuzumab,
was approved in Europe in September. It is still awaiting
approval in the United States, where experts have raised
questions about its safety and the quality of clinical studies.
The drug was at the heart of Sanofi's $20.1 billion takeover
battle for U.S. biotech firm Genzyme, which developed the drug
for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. The medicine was
originally invented by scientists at the University of
Cambridge, who started work on it in 1991.
As part of the takeover deal, Genzyme shareholders received
contingent value rights, known as CVRs, entitling them
to future payments of up to $14 a share, depending on the
success of Lemtrada.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Goodman)