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Innovent, Eli Lilly report PD-1 inhibitor ‘sintilimab’ added in NRDL of China

San Francisco
Monday, December 6, 2021, 14:00 Hrs  [IST]

Innovent Biologics, Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company, announced that the innovative PD-1 inhibitor sintilimab has been successfully included in the updated National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL) for all approved indications, according to the latest announcement from the China National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA). The updated NRDL will officially take effect on January 1, 2022.

A total of four approved indications for sintilimab are now included in the updated NRDL:

Three indications for sintilimab have been included in the NRDL for the first time, as follows: in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of advanced or recurrent nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (nsq NSCLC) without sensitizing EGFR mutations or ALK rearrangements; in combination with gemcitabine and platinum chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of advanced or recurrent squamous non-small cell lung cancer (sq NSCLC); and in combination with BYVASDA (bevacizumab biosimilar injection) for the first-line treatment of unresectable or advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

An indication for relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin's lymphoma (cHL) after two lines or later of systemic chemotherapy, which was first included in the NRDL in 2019, has been successfully renewed this year.

Dr. Michael Yu, Founder, chairman and CEO of Innovent, stated, "Two years ago, sintilimab was the first and only PD-1 inhibitor included in the NRDL. This year, three additional first-line indications for sintilimab have been successfully included in the NRDL, further enhancing the accessibility of this anti-cancer drug and alleviating financial burden for Chinese patients and their families. We have witnessed the profound reform and rapid development of pharmaceutical industry in China, driven by the government's commitment to continuously support innovation and emphasize a healthier and better life for the people of China. Innovent is honored to be a part of the Chinese government's initiative to improve health, and are devoted to the deepening of the national health care reform. With our company's mission 'to develop and commercialize high quality biopharmaceuticals that are affordable to ordinary people,' we hope to continue to work together with all relevant parties to improve drug affordability and accessibility, and contribute to the 'Healthy China 2030' initiative."

Julio Gay-Ger, president and general manager, Eli Lilly China, stated, "In recent years, China has continued to intensify medical insurance reform, giving strategic priority to safeguarding people's health. As a multinational pharmaceutical company tied with China for over 100 years, Lilly always adheres to the philosophy of 'In China, For China', and actively participates in China's health reform, especially in the drug supply system. The indication expansion of sintilimab in the National Reimbursement Drugs List (NRDL) can further reduce the burden of healthcare, enabling the patients to afford innovative drugs and have a higher quality of life through persistent treatment. Lilly will continue to keep a close eye on the major healthcare challenges in China in the future, and play an important role in the country's 'all-round and full-cycle health' ecosystem, to support the accelerated implementation of the 'Healthy China 2030' initiatives."

Min Liu, Chief Commercial Officer of Innovent, stated, "Sintilimab is the only PD-1 inhibitor in China with four major indications (1L nsq NSCLC, 1L sq NSCLC, 1L HCC and cHL) approved and included in China's NRDL. Particularly, lung cancer and liver cancer are two of the most prevalent tumor types in China, accounting for the first and third largest numbers of new cases each year – representing a large unmet medical need. We will proactively support the work of the government departments at all levels, cooperate with the implementation of medical insurance policies in all regions, and help relieve patients' economic burden to a further extent, to allow this high-quality immunotherapy product to benefit more lives of Chinese patients and their families."


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