The U.K. medicines regulator has determined that reformulating the Avastin cancer medicine into a treatment for a serious eye condition is a permitted off-label use, dealing another setback to Bayer and Novartis in their quest to thwart unapproved uses of the drug.

In what was called a clarification, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency issued its view in response to a court ruling a year ago. At the time, the High Court allowed reformulation by a dozen clinical commissioning groups, or CCGs, which are organizations of local doctors who issue decisions about hospital care, medicines to be prescribed, and mental health services, among other things.

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