It's Official: Novartis SMA Gene Therapy Zolgensma Is World's Most Expensive Drug
The total cost of Zolgensma is more than $2m – in line with estimates – or $425,000 annually for five years if payers choose an annuity-like payment plan. Novartis is also negotiating value-based reimbursement agreements for infants treated with the one-time infusion.
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Gene therapy remains attractive when data show new technologies can advance the field, but gene regulation, editing and RNA therapies are grabbing investors’ attention, panelists said at ARM’s Cell and Gene Meeting on the Mesa.
Risdiplam’s efficacy across two clinical trials and oral dosing made it a credible threat before its US FDA approval, but its weight-based pricing falls below Biogen’s Spinraza and Novartis’s Zolgensma.
Biogen said some spinal muscular atrophy patients are currently being treated with Spinraza after receiving the Novartis gene therapy – its main competitor – so it will start a study of the risk/benefit in 2021.