More treatment options for DLBCL, Burkitt lymphoma and CLL

The European Medicines Agency has extended the licensed indications for two lymphoma treatments: rituximab and venetoclax.

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In its January meeting, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended extending the licences for two lymphoma medicines.

Rituximab, an antibody therapy used to treat most types of B-cell lymphoma in adults, has been granted a licence to treat advanced diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Burkitt lymphoma in children. This means rituximab, in combination with chemotherapy, can now be used within its licence to treat children from 6 months old.

Venetoclax, in combination with obinutuzumab, has been licensed for the treatment of adults with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Venetoclax, a targeted drug, was already approved to treat people with CLL that had not responded, or had come back after, previous treatment, or for people with a particular genetic mutation who could not be treated with cell signal blockers. The new indication means it can be used, in combination with the antibody therapy obinutuzumab, for adults who have not been treated for CLL before. This new indication is currently being assessed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), to decide if it should be made available on the NHS. We will report on the outcome as soon as it is announced.

11 February 2020