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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma drug, Tepkinly, authorised for use on NHS

1st Feb 2024 - Edward Pinches

United Kingdom

Tepkinly (epcoritamab), a treatment for the blood cancer, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is to be made available on the NHS as a third line treatment.

Jacqueline, in remission from DLBCL, smiles whilst holding a phone to her ear, standing outside in front of a house.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which develops in the lymphatic system. Around 5,500 people a year are diagnosed with this form of blood cancer.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is a type of blood cancer and while most people go into remission after standard treatment, some people can see their cancer return.

- Rincy George, Policy Officer at Blood Cancer UK

Today (Thursday 1st February) NICE, approved Tepkinly for use on the NHS in adults who have not responded to at least two previous treatments.

Today’s decision from NICE approving epcoritamab for use on the NHS in England and Wales is a welcome step for many.

Around 700 people in the UK every year don’t respond to two previous treatments.

Like many that experience blood cancer, people with relapsed or refractory DLBCL experience anxiety around the prospect of not responding to treatment or the cancer once again returning.

- Rincy George from Blood Cancer UK

People can only access Tepkinly on the NHS if they’ve also received the drug polatuzumab vedotin, or they cannot tolerate polatuzumab vedotin.

The drug, manufactured by Abbvie, is a bispecific antibody designed to recognise and attach to the cancer cells and immune cells, so that the body’s immune system can destroy them.

Advances in bispecifics is set to be an active area of research and drug development in coming years.

- Rincy George

NICE also approved Zynlonta (loncastuximab tesirine) for use in patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL or high-grade B-cell lymphoma (HGBCL).


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