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Cabozantinib (Cabometyx, Ipsen Pharma) and lenvatinib (Kisplyx, Eisai Europe Ltd) have been recommended for approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). This will soon give kidney cancer patients in Europe, who are not responding to treatment, two new options to try. The EMA is the European Union agency responsible for the protection of public and animal health through the scientific evaluation and supervision of medicines. Before cabozantinib and lenvatinib can be prescribed on the NHS in England, they will need to be appraised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for cost-effectiveness.
Cabozantinib and lenvatinib are both tyrosine kinase inhibitors recommended for use in patients with kidney cancer who have been previously treated with a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor. Cabozantinib is to be used on its own, whereas lenvatinib is to be used in combination with everolimus. Both drugs are already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of kidney cancer in the United States.
The EMA considers the kidney cancer indications for cabozantinib and lenvatinib to be accelerated approvals because both drugs were felt to address an unmet medical need.