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Press Release

SMC gives green light to new immunotherapy for most common form of lung cancer

Posted on: 10 Jul 18

Scottish Medicines Consortium advice recommends Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) for NHS use in people with NSCLC whose disease has progressed following treatment


09 July 2018, Welwyn Garden City - People with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has progressed following standard chemotherapy, can now access Roche’s immunotherapy Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) via the NHS in Scotland.[i] The new immunotherapy has been shown to significantly extend the lives of patients with advanced NSCLC versus chemotherapy, with fewer side effects compared to chemotherapy.[ii]


The decision follows three months after NICE’s similar approval in this indication for patients in England and Wales.[iii] It is estimated 1,500 patients in Scotland will be eligible for treatment with atezolizumab.


We are delighted with the SMC’s decision, which means that people living in Scotland with this devastating form of lung cancer will now have access to the same treatment as patients living in other areas of the UK," said Simon Eayrs, Integrated Franchise Lead at Roche Products Ltd. “This decision demonstrates that all patients are able to get access to new and innovative treatments when parties work together to find a practical solution.”


The positive decision was based on a Phase III study that showed people with NSCLC that were treated with atezolizumab lived a median of 13.8 months, 4.2 months longer than those receiving standard chemotherapy (HR = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.62, 0.87 P= 0·0003).2 Atezolizumab is a Programmed Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor, however it has also been shown to be an effective option for patients regardless of PD-L1 expression.2



Editor’s Notes

About atezolizumab

Atezolizumab is a cancer immunotherapy. It disarms the cancer of its cloak, which allows the body's smartest medicine - the immune system - to detect and destroy it. Atezolizumab blocks PD-L1 – an important ligand found on the surface of cancer cells that camouflage them from detection and destruction by the immune system.[iv] Atezolizumab is also being trialled as a treatment for a range of other cancers, alone and in combination, including: breast cancer, renal cell cancer (kidney cancer), small cell lung cancer, other solid tumours, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and paediatric cancers.[v] Atezolizumab was the first medicine in its class (PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors) approved in the UK as a first-line treatment for people with advanced or metastatic urothelial (bladder) cancer (mUC) for whom cisplatin-based chemotherapy is unsuitable.[vi]


About Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Scotland,[vii] with over 5000 new diagnoses every year[viii] and over 4000 deaths annually.[ix] The prognosis for lung cancer patients is often poor, with fewer than 5% of all lung cancer patients surviving for ten years, experiencing high rates of recurrence and treatment resistance.7,[x],[xi]


About 87% of lung cancers in the UK are non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). There are three common types of NSCLC (adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma), all grouped together because they behave and respond to treatment in a similar way.[xii]


About Roche

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life, safety and survival of patients. Twenty-eight medicines developed by Roche are included in the WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy.  Roche in the UK employs over 2,000 people in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. For more information:


All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.


Adverse reaction reporting

This medicinal product is subject to additional monitoring. This will allow quick identification of new safety information. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions. Adverse events should be reported. Reporting forms and information can be found at or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. Adverse events should also be reported to Roche Products Ltd. Please contact Roche Drug Safety Centre by emailing or calling +44 (0)1707 367554.


As Tecentriq is a biological medicine, healthcare professionals should report adverse reactions by brand name and batch number.




Roche contact:                                                                 Agency contact:                                                

Olivia Noble                                                                      Katy Mortimer

Tel: 01707 367842                                                             Tel: 020 3900 6000

Email:                                Email:

Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 10/07/2018

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