5/7, 1:34 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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New Novartis drug could sell for as much as $2M

Pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG is expected to launch a new treatment for an infant muscle-wasting disease with a potential price of $2 million, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The company has not made a final decision for the pricing of the drug yet and is waiting for the United States Food and Drug Administration to give a green light to the product. Additionally, the FDA is expected to approve approximately 10 to 20 cell drugs every year in the next six years.

The medicine called Zolgensma is used in treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which leads to death before the age of two in the most severe cases. Approximately 400-500 babies are born in the US every year with SMA. During the trials, all babies displayed signs of recovery, such as being able to hold up their hands and sit on their own without aid. However, Zolgensma's long term effects cannot be determined yet, as its first usage on a patient was just five years ago.

Despite the controversial pricing of the product, Zolgensma is one of many gene and sell medicines marketed above $500,000, including Spark Therapeutics' Luxturna sight loss treatment which sells for around $850,000 and Orchard Therapeutics' Strimvelis ADA-SCID disease treatment available on the market for approximately $663,000.

Breaking the News / SS