New heart disease drug to be made available for NHS patients

Tuesday January 14th, 2020

The government is collaborating with pharmaceutical company Novartis to launch a clinical trial for new cholesterol treatment.


Collaboration to offer cutting-edge new cholesterol treatment to tens of thousands of patients at risk of heart disease in coming years

In a ground-breaking, in-principle agreement with Novartis, introduction of inclisiran on the NHS following approval has the potential to save up to 30,000 lives over the next 10 years

Innovative manufacturing research collaboration will position the UK as a world-leading destination to develop cutting-edge treatments
Up to 30,000 lives could be saved over the next decade thanks to a proposed pioneering government collaboration with pharmaceutical company Novartis to tackle heart disease – a leading cause of death in the UK.

The yet to be approved drug inclisiran, a treatment to lower cholesterol, will be studied in UK patients as part of a large-scale NHS clinical trial expected to start later this year. Additionally in a world-first, the drug is expected to be available through a population-level agreement – pioneering a game-changing approach to reducing the risk of heart disease.

Early results from clinical trials suggest that if inclisiran is given to 300,000 patients annually, it could help prevent 55,000 heart attacks and strokes, and has the potential of saving 30,000 lives in the next 10 years.

Heart disease is the world’s biggest killer and the second biggest cause of death in the UK, with over 3 million people suffering from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and 2 and a half million currently relying on statins to lower their cholesterol. Recent trials have shown inclisiran can halve bad cholesterol in just 2 weeks.

Inclisiran, a bi-annual injection, is expected to be filed for approval as a preventative add-on treatment to statins for patients who have already been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease later this year.

It will also be put through the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) approval programme at the earliest opportunity possible and NHS England will agree a population-level commercial arrangement with the company to make it widely available to patients as soon as 2021.

The agreement will make a significant contribution towards meeting the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to preventing 150,000 cardiovascular deaths over 10 years.

The collaboration between Novartis, NHS England, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and Oxford University represents an innovative approach to tackling major public health issues and positions the UK as a world-leading destination to develop revolutionary medicines.

The innovative collaboration will be announced today (Monday) by the Chair of NHS England Lord Prior at the J.P. Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco.

The collaboration also includes the creation of an industry and academic consortium to improve the efficiency in which the UK can manufacture for this form of innovative medicine.

The unique population health model used by the UK will enable the collaboration to address the needs of patients and health systems that have previously not been able to be met on a large scale. The new cost-effective process will lead the way for innovative approaches to helping meet large-scale, public health concerns.

This highlights the UK as a prime destination to get new medicines to patients faster and more cost-effectively. Its appetite for innovation, unrivalled infrastructure and world-leading joined-up healthcare system offers the opportunity for similar deals to be done for other drug development projects of this scale.

The UK plans to remain at the forefront of the global life sciences industry, giving our NHS and patients faster access to innovative medicines while supporting the growth of the sector.

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