The PBS listing of blinatumomab (Blincyto) is being extended from 1 December to include treatment of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and minimal residual disease (MRD).
The listing follows a recommendation from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in May 2019 to extend the listing for people with B-cell precursor (ALL) in haematological complete remission with minimal residual disease (MRD) following induction chemotherapy.
The Committee based its recommendation on updated data from the final analysis of the single-arm BLAST study that reinforced that blinatumomab may be associated with an overall survival advantage.
Blinatumomab is a bispecific, CD19-directed CD3 T-cell engager that activates endogenous cytotoxic T cells to kill target B cells. In addition to Ph- blinatumomab is also listed for Ph+ relapsed or refractory B-ALL.
About 86 patients are expected to be eligible for the drug, which would otherwise cost up to $150,000 for each course of treatment.