04 March 2024

The NHS in England is to introduce a new drug expected to help the majority of patients resistant to treatment for graft versus host disease (GvHD), it has been announced.

NHS England hopes the introduction of belumosudil will help 75% of the 200 patients a year who do not respond to existing treatments for GvHD.

The funding announcement last week followed clinical guidance from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The drug can be taken daily as a tablet, and inhibits proteins involved in the inflammatory response to GvHD.

Clinical trials have suggested the drug is most effective when the disease affects the mouth, intestine or joints, and up to 75% of patients will respond to the treatment, NHS England said.

Professor Adrian Bloor, consultant haematologist at the Christie Hospital, Manchester, said: “The rapid rollout of belumosudil provides hope for patients living with chronic graft versus host disease, and signals a major step forward in addressing the often-debilitating consequences of the disease. Although belumosudil has only been available for a short time, it is already demonstrating a transformative benefit for patients under my care.”

Dr Robert Danby, chief medical officer at Anthony Nolan, the stem cell transplant charity, said: “This is welcome news for stem cell transplant recipients across England and Wales who struggle with this debilitating, life-threatening condition. We are investing in vital research to help even more patients survive and thrive after a stem cell transplant.”

Source: NHS England


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