Ceritinib for Untreated Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase-Positive Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: An Evidence Review Group Evaluation of a NICE Single Technology Appraisal

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) invited the company that manufactures ceritinib (Zykadia®, Novartis) to submit evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of the drug, as a first-line treatment for adults with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive (+) advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), as part of the Institute's single technology appraisal (STA) process. The CRD (Centre for Reviews and Dissemination) and CHE (Centre for Health Economics) Technology Assessment Group at the University of York was commissioned to act as the Evidence Review Group (ERG). This paper describes the Company's submission (CS), the ERG review and NICE's subsequent decisions. The evidence submitted in support of ceritinib, as the first-line treatment in ALK+ advanced NSCLC, was a phase III, international, multicentre, open-label randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing ceritinib with pemetrexed/cisplatin plus pemetrexed maintenance therapy (chemotherapy [CT] group). The results indicated that ceritinib prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) compared with CT. The only comparator considered in the CS was crizotinib. The evidence selected in support of crizotinib was PROFILE 1014, an open-label RCT of crizotinib, compared with pemetrexed/cisplatin CT (without maintenance therapy), in previously untreated advanced or metastatic ALK+ NSCLC. The design and population of PROFILE 1014 was similar to that of ASCEND-4, though there were some differences between the trials. The Company considered it not possible to perform an 'anchor-based' analysis of first-line ceritinib and crizotinib, and presented a Matching-Adjusted Indirect Comparison (MAIC) of ceritinib and crizotinib using only the ALK inhibitor arm of ASCEND-4 and PROFILE 1014. The indirect comparison suggests that ceritinib may be more effective in prolonging PFS than crizotinib. The ERG agreed that an indirect comparison using only the ALK inhibitor arm of the trials was the only option available in the present assessment; however, a number of limitations and potential bias were identified in this analysis. The Company's model estimated that ceritinib was cost effective when compared with crizotinib. However, the ERG highlighted several concerns with the Company's analysis; the ERG's preferred base case estimated an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £69,255 per quality-adjusted life-year (no patient access scheme [PAS] included). The ERG considered the economic analysis to be sensitive to changes in assumption used, partly due to the due to the immaturity of the overall survival data from trials, which leads to uncertainty around the extrapolation used. The NICE Appraisal Committee concluded that ceritinib is recommended, within its marketing authorisation, as an option for untreated ALK+ advanced NSCLC in adults, if the Company provides it with the discount agreed in the PAS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-654
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Early online date8 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The ERG would like to thank Professor Michael Lind, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Castle Hill Hospital and the Hull York Medical School, who acted as a clinical expert advisor to the ERG.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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