Kymriah, the first chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy approved in Canada is now available at certified sites in Quebec to treat certain patients with relapsed/refractory (r/r) pediatric and young adult B-cell ALL and adult r/r DLBCL
Quebec government to reimburse Kymriah therapy for certain patients with life-threatening cancers who are in critical need
Dorval, Quebec, October 9, 2019 – Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. is pleased to announce that sites in Quebec 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 coincides with the Quebec government announcement that Kymriah is now reimbursed for eligible patients under the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)ii.
Eligible patients in Quebec are now able to access Kymriah from the Centre hospitalier universitaire (CHU) Sainte-Justine and Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (HMR) in Montreal.
“Novartis feels it is important to acknowledge the collaborative effort by all stakeholders involved to ensure Canadians have access to the first approved CAR-T therapy for patients with B-cell ALL and DLBCL who historically have poor outcomes. With treatment centers certified in Quebec, this allows patients with these two life-threatening cancers the opportunity to be treated with CAR-T therapy,” said Daniel Hébert, Medical Director, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. “Novartis is committed to bringing additional qualified treatment centers from other parts of the country into the network to give Canadians 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), 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, leukemia and lymphoma to facilitate safe and seamless delivery of Kymriah to eligible patients.
“We are thrilled with this news because we will now be able to treat patients at our institution with the knowledge that their therapy will be publicly funded. We see this as a significant step forward. The young patients we see who have refractory or relapsed B-cell ALL are desperately in need of a new treatment option. Kymriah brings hope to patients who are literally in a fight for their life.” said Dr. Henrique Bittencourt, hematologist at the CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal and Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Université de Montréal.
"The expertise at HMR has raised the profile of our organization, which is a major Quebec, Canadian and worldwide pole for health innovation. Thanks to the dedicated work of our care, research and teaching teams, patients can now access this new treatment with demonstrated effectiveness and impact on quality of life," said Sylvain Lemieux, President and CEO, Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.
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 lymphomai.
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. Kymriah®, the first approved CAR-T cell therapy in Canada, is the cornerstone of this strategy. 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 108,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at www.novartis.com.