Roche Korea said Tuesday that Alecensa, its target immunotherapy for lung cancer, has received extended insurance coverage as a first-line treatment for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive non-small cell lung cancer.
The drug will receive insurance coverage from the start of this month.
In April, Alecensa received approval as a first-line treatment, and with the extended reimbursement, the drug can now receive insurance benefits as a first- and second-line treatment for ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer patients.
Alecensa is currently the only ALK inhibitor recommend as a category 1 in the first-line treatment of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines.
The additional insurance benefits come after the company unveiled ALEX, its global phase 3 clinical trials. The trial showed that the treatment has a progression-free survival (PFS) of 34.8 months, showing excellent PFS improvement.
According to a follow-up study of ALEX clinical trial, Alecensa also showed a median PFS of 27.7 months for patients with central nervous system (CNS) metastasis at 20-month improvement compared to the control group.
Such improved PFS improvement and the effect on the CNS of Alecensa also continued in three-phased ALESIA trials conducted in Asian patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer, including Koreans.
“We are delighted that patients with ALK non-small cell lung cancer in Korea will be able to receive Alecensa, which significantly improves survival without disease progression, as a first-line treatment through the extended reimbursement,” Roche Korea CEO Nic Horridge said.