Dorval, QC, October 23, 2019 – Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. (Novartis) is pleased to announce that British Columbia will now reimburse KISQALI® (ribociclib) for eligible patients in combination with an aromatase inhibitor (letrozole) under its provincial public drug program (complete British Columbia reimbursement criteria can be accessed here).1
For women living with metastatic breast cancer, also known as Stage IV breast cancer, the cancer has spread beyond the breast to other areas of the body, such as the lungs, liver, bones or brain.2 It may happen before or after treatment, or it may develop from reoccurring breast cancer.3 Although there have been advancements in early detection and treatment, there is still no cure for metastatic breast cancer.4 While overall 5-year survival rates for female breast cancer are relatively high, at 87%, women with advanced breast cancer face a 22% survival rate over 5 years.5
“The reimbursement of ribociclib (KISQALI®) in British Columbia and certain other parts of Canada provides women living with advanced breast cancer with more treatment options that may potentially delay the progression of breast cancer and improve the duration and quality of their survival,” said Dr. Karen Gelmon, Professor of Medicine, UBC and Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer.
“We are pleased that British Columbia has joined certain other Canadian provinces in providing women living with metastatic breast cancer with much needed treatment options that can help improve their quality of life,” said Cathy Ammendolea, Chair of the Board of Directors, Canadian Breast Cancer Network.
KISQALI® belongs to a family of medications called protein kinase inhibitors. These medications work by stopping cancer cells from dividing and growing. KISQALI® received Health Canada approval for use with letrozole on March 2, 2018, for the treatment of postmenopausal women with HR-positive, HER2-negative locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer as first-line endocrine-based therapy based on findings from the pivotal MONALEESA-2 trial. When given together with letrozole, KISQALI® may help slow down the growth and spread of breast cancer cells.6
“Our work in this therapeutic area has helped to improve the well-being of Canadians living with breast cancer,” said Daniel Hébert, Country Medical Head Oncology, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. “The addition of KISQALI® to the public drug plan in British Columbia is a promising milestone for women living with metastatic breast cancer and the entire breast cancer community in Canada. As a leader in the healthcare field, we will continue to work with the remaining provinces and territories to ensure all Canadians living with metastatic breast cancer and their healthcare providers have public access to KISQALI®.”
About KISQALI® (ribociclib) KISQALI® is a selective cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, a class of drugs that help slow the progression of cancer by inhibiting two proteins called cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (CDK4/6). These proteins, when over-activated, can enable cancer cells to grow and divide too quickly.
Targeting CDK4/6 may play a role in ensuring that cancer cells do not continue to replicate uncontrollably. KISQALI® was developed by the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) under a research collaboration with Astex Pharmaceuticals.
About Novartis in Advanced Breast Cancer Novartis tackles breast cancer with advanced science, collaboration and a passion for transforming patient care. We’ve taken a bold approach to our research by including patient populations often neglected in clinical trials, identifying new pathways or mutations that may play a role in disease progression and developing therapies that not only maintain, but also improve, quality of life for patients. Our priority over the past 30 years and today is to deliver treatments proven to improve and extend lives for those diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.
About Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. 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.