CAR T-cell therapy to be funded by Medical Benefits Scheme for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

The Federal Government announced that it will fund Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell (CAR T-cell) therapy with Kymriah for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in paediatric and young adult patients who have relapsed or do not respond to initial treatment. This is fabulous news with ALL affecting approximately 30 patients every year. We are still awaiting news on whether the Government will fund the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy.

Novartis, who manufacture Kymriah are currently in negotiation to complete the technical transfer of the manufacturing process for Kymriah to Cell Therapies at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. This will further aid Australian patients in their access to the treatment.

CAR T-cell therapies were approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in December 2018.