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NICE recommends tivozanib as first-line treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma

EUSA Pharma has announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a Final Appraisal Determination (FAD) recommending tivozanib as a first-line treatment option for advanced renal cell carcinoma (aRCC) in line with its licensed indication.

Tivozanib was licensed by the European Commission (EC) in August 20171 and is an oral, once-daily, potent selective vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (VEGFR-TKI). VEGFR-TKIs work by reducing the supply of blood to the tumour – denying it the food and oxygen it would need to grow in size.2

In arriving at its positive recommendation, NICE considered data from the global, open-label, randomised, multi-centre Phase III trial (TiVO-1)3 which evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of tivozanib compared to a currently available comparator VEGFR-TKI (sorafenib) in the treatment of 517 patients with aRCC. Patients treated with tivozanib experienced superior progression-free survival (PFS) (11.9 vs. 9.1 months in the overall population and 12.7 vs. 9.1 months in treatment naïve patients) versus sorafenib.3 There was also an improved side effect profile with tivozanib, with only 14% (versus 43% with sorafenib) requiring a dose reduction due to adverse events (AEs).3 In addition, fewer people on tivozanib experienced burdensome side effects, such as diarrhoea (23% vs 33%), and hand-foot syndrome (14% vs 54%).3

Dr Lisa Pickering, Consultant Medical Oncologist at St George’s Hospital, London, commented: ”This is excellent news for patients with aRCC. A key treatment goal is to enable patients to live without their cancer progressing for longer periods of time – we cannot cure their cancer but we can help to preserve normal living for as long as possible. That is why I’m delighted that NICE has recommended tivozanib as a treatment option.”

Around 12 people in the UK die every day of kidney cancer, with more than 40% of cases in England diagnosed at a late (advanced) stage. Kidney cancer is expected to be one of the fastest increasing cancers over the next 10 years, as a result of the UK’s ageing population, and with smoking and a rise in obesity also playing a part.4

Nick Turkentine, Chief Executive of Kidney Cancer UK, said: “With over 12,500 new cases of kidney cancer being diagnosed every year this is a great result for people with aRCC and the overall fight with the disease. It is vitally important patients have access to effective, well-tolerated treatments, so they can spend more precious time with their families and loved ones. We applaud EUSA Pharma, NICE and NHS England for making this happen.”

Patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (aRCC) who may benefit from treatment with tivozanib will be able to access it from today as the final guidance is published, and should be able to have immediate access through the CDF.

Lee Morley, EUSA Pharma’s Chief Executive Officer commented “We are very pleased that NICE are recommending the use of Fotivda for the first line treatment of advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma and that Fotivda will be funded immediately in England and Wales, meaning physicians and patients can experience the benefits of Fotivda.  Fotivda has the potential to become an important new first-line therapy and the recommendation by NICE is a great achievement for the EUSA team delivering on their mission to improve the lives of those patients suffering from cancer.”


  2. Cancer Research UK. General cancer information: Drugs that block cancer blood vessel growth (anti angiogenics). Available at: Last accessed September 2017
  3. Motzer R.J; Nosov D et al. Tivozanib Versus Sorafenib As Initial Targeted Therapy for Patients With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: Results From a Phase III Trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology. Volume 31. 2013: 30:3791
  4. Cancer Research UK. Kidney cancer rates are increasing, so what’s fuelling the surge? Available at: Last accessed September 2017