Kymriah, the first chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy approved in Canada is now available in Ontario to treat certain Canadian patients with relapsed/refractory (r/r) pediatric and young adult B-cell ALL and adult r/r DLBCL
Ontario government to reimburse Kymriah therapy for certain patients with life-threatening cancers who are in critical need
Dorval, Quebec, December 12, 2019 – Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. is pleased to announce that sites in Ontario have been certified in accordance with applicable requirements to treat eligible patients with Kymriah® (tisagenlecleucel), the first chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy that received regulatory approval in Canada. Patients with relapsed/refractory (r/r) pediatric and young adult B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and adult r/r diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) may be eligible to be treated with Kymriah at one of the initially certified Canadian treatment sites. This news follows the recent decision by the Ontario government to fund Kymriah and publication of guidelines by Cancer Care Ontario regarding the enrolment process and criteria for patients to receive CAR-T cell therapy.2
“Early results show that patients who receive CAR-T cell therapy are either seeing their cancer go into remission or can use CAR-T as a bridge to a stem cell transplant,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “We are pleased that Ontario is among the first provinces in Canada to offer CAR-T cell therapy to eligible pediatric and adult patients.”
Per the guidelines, eligible patients are now able to access Kymriah from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto and Hamilton Health Sciences. Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto and The Ottawa Hospital are working to complete the process to become certified treatment sites and join the network of qualified Ontario centres in 2020.
“Novartis would like to acknowledge and applaud the collaboration of all stakeholders involved, including Cancer Care Ontario, in helping to ensure patients have access to the first CAR-T therapy approved in Canada for patients with B-cell ALL and DLBCL who historically have poor outcomes. Having treatment sites certified in Ontario allows eligible patients to be treated with CAR-T therapy and is in line with our mission to provide rapid access to life-changing therapies to all Canadians,” said Christian Macher, Country President & General Manager, Oncology, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. “Novartis is committed to bringing additional qualified Canadian treatment centres into the network to give patients the opportunity to be treated closer to home.”
Due to the sophisticated and individualized nature of Kymriah, treatment sites that are part of the network are required to be FACT-accredited (Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy). This means they are qualified to perform intravenous infusion of stem cells collected from the bone marrow of a donor, also referred to as allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) and have experience with cell therapies and treating leukemia and lymphoma to facilitate safe and seamless delivery of Kymriah to eligible patients.
About Kymriah® Kymriah® (tisagenlecleucel), a CD19-directed genetically modified autologous T-cell immunocellular therapy, is approved to treat two life-threatening cancers that have limited treatment options and historically poor outcomes, demonstrating the critical need for new therapies for these patients.
Kymriah is approved by Health Canada for use in pediatric and young adult patients 3 to 25 years of age with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who are refractory, have relapsed after allogenic stem cell transplant (SCT) or are otherwise ineligible for SCT, or have experienced second or later relapse; and for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory (r/r) large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, high grade B-cell lymphoma and DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma.1
Kymriah is a one-time treatment that uses a patient's own T cells to fight and kill cancer cells. Bringing this innovative therapy to Canadian patients requires collaboration among many health system stakeholders.
Kymriah® (tisagenlecleucel) Important Safety Information The full prescribing information for Kymriah® can be found at: www.novartis.ca.
Novartis Leadership in Cell and Gene Therapy Novartis is at the forefront of investigational immunocellular therapy and was the first pharmaceutical company to significantly invest in CAR-T research, work with pioneers in CAR-T and initiate global CAR-T trials. Active research programs are underway targeting other hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, and include efforts focused on next generation CAR-Ts that involve simplified manufacturing schemes and gene edited cells.
About Novartis in Canada Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., a leader in the healthcare field, is committed to the discovery, development and marketing of innovative products to improve the well-being of all Canadians. In 2018, the company invested $52 million in research and development in Canada. Located in Dorval, Quebec, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employs approximately 1,000 people in Canada and is an affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. For further information, please consult www.novartis.ca.
About Novartis Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 750 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at www.novartis.com/.