Alimera’s Iluvien Fails to Win Backing From U.K. Cost Agency

Alimera Sciences Inc. (ALIM) failed to win the backing of the U.K.’s health-cost agency for its treatment for the leading cause of blindness associated with diabetes.

Alimera “underestimated the incremental cost- effectiveness” of Iluvien, an implant that releases a drug that can limit vision loss or improve vision for patients with chronic diabetic macular edema, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said in a statement today.

“The independent Appraisal Committee is aware that chronic diabetic macular edema can have a significant effect on the physical and emotional wellbeing of people affected,” NICE said. “Unfortunately in this case, the committee agreed that the evidence provided could not support a positive recommendation.”

The existing option for patients is to receive laser therapy. Roche Holding AG (ROG) is currently seeking U.S. approval for a similar drug, Lucentis, to treat diabetic macular edema. The Food and Drug Association has twice rejected Iluvien, most recently in November.

The draft appraisal is open to public comment, and NICE will probably issue final guidance in November, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Makiko Kitamura in London at mkitamura1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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