Anthem Inc. Issues Positive Coverage Decision For Optune in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma

Health insurance plans covering more than 97 million Americans now provide positive coverage of Optune

February 12, 2016 07:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

ST. HELIER, Jersey–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Novocure (NASDAQ:NVCR) announced today that Anthem, Inc. now covers Optune for members who have newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM). Anthem, the largest member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies with plans that cover 38.5 million lives.

Anthem’s positive coverage policy of Optune – a portable, noninvasive device that delivers Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) therapy to patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent GBM – follows the December 2015 publication of Novocure’s EF-14 phase 3 pivotal trial data in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Anthem is the fourth and latest national commercial payer to issue a positive coverage policy for Optune. In December 2015, Aetna, Inc. released a medical coverage policy that affirmatively covers Optune for the treatment of newly diagnosed GBM. Aetna is one of the top three commercial payers in the U.S., covering 23.5 million lives. Cigna and HealthNet – administering medical benefits for 14.5 million and 6 million lives, respectively – offer coverage of Optune for members who have recurrent GBM. Additional commercial payers that offer positive coverage policies for Optune include: Excellus Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Medica, The Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley, and Priority Health, which in total administer health plans covering 3.7 million lives. Collectively, health plans covering more than 97 million Americans now provide positive coverage of Optune.

“The recent positive coverage by Anthem and Aetna of Optune for newly diagnosed glioblastoma signals that leading healthcare payers view Optune as a medical necessity for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients,” said Asaf Danziger, Novocure’s CEO. “We are working diligently to build awareness of our EF-14 trial results, now published in JAMA, which show that Optune plus standard of care significantly extended both progression-free and overall survival in newly diagnosed GBM patients. Optune offers hope of a longer, better quality life for patients who are diagnosed with this devastating disease.”

About Tumor Treating Fields Therapy

Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) therapy is delivered by a portable, non-invasive medical device designed for continuous use by patients. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that TTFields therapy slows and reverses tumor growth by inhibiting mitosis, the process by which cells divide and replicate. TTFields therapy creates low intensity, alternating electric fields within a tumor that exert physical forces on electrically charged cellular components, preventing the normal mitotic process and causing cancer cell death.

Approved Indications

In the United States, Optune is intended as a treatment for adult patients (22 years of age or older) with histologically-confirmed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

In the United States, Optune with temozolomide is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed, supratentorial glioblastoma following maximal debulking surgery and completion of radiation therapy together with concomitant standard of care chemotherapy.

In the United States, for the treatment of recurrent GBM, Optune is indicated following histologically-or radiologically-confirmed recurrence in the supratentorial region of the brain after receiving chemotherapy. The device is intended to be used as a monotherapy, and is intended as an alternative to standard medical therapy for GBM after surgical and radiation options have been exhausted.

In the European Union, Optune is intended for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed GBM, after surgery and radiotherapy with adjuvant temozolomide, concomitant to maintenance temozolomide. The treatment is intended for adult patients, 18 years of age or older, and should be started more than four weeks after surgery and radiation therapy with adjuvant temozolomide. Treatment may be given together with maintenance temozolomide and after maintenance temozolomide is stopped.

In the European Union, Optune is also intended for the treatment of patients with recurrent GBM who have progressed after surgery, radiotherapy and temozolomide treatment for their primary disease. The treatment is intended for adult patients, 18 years of age or older, and should be started more than 4 weeks after the latest surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Patients should only use Optune under the supervision of a physician properly trained in use of the device. Full prescribing information is available at or by calling toll free 1-855-281-9301 in the US or by email at in the European Union.

About Novocure

Novocure is a Jersey Isle oncology company pioneering a novel therapy for solid tumors called TTFields. Novocure’s U.S. operations are based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and New York City. Additionally, the company has offices in Germany, Switzerland, and Japan and a research center in Haifa, Israel. For additional information about the company, please visit or follow us at

Forward-Looking Statements

In addition to historical facts or statements of current condition, this press release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements provide Novocure’s current expectations or forecasts of future events. These may include statements regarding anticipated scientific progress on its research programs, development of potential products, interpretation of clinical results, prospects for regulatory approval, manufacturing development and capabilities, market prospects for its products, and other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts. You may identify some of these forward-looking statements by the use of words in the statements such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe” or other words and terms of similar meaning. Novocure’s performance and financial results could differ materially from those reflected in these forward-looking statements due to general financial, economic, regulatory and political conditions as well as more specific risks and uncertainties facing Novocure such as those set forth in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on Oct. 27, 2015, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Given these risks and uncertainties, any or all of these forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect. Therefore, you should not rely on any such factors or forward-looking statements. Furthermore, Novocure does not intend to update publicly any forward-looking statement, except as required by law. Any forward-looking statements herein speak only as of the date hereof. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 permits this discussion.


Ashley Cordova, 212 767 7558

Print Friendly
See all press releases