$1 million price tag in spotlight as gene therapy becomes reality - (Nasdaq via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Spark Therapeutics, which has yet to set a price for its experimental gene therapy Luxturna, recently argued that there was a case for valuing the treatment at more than $1 million annually, as reported NASDAQ Thursday.

  • The therapy was recently recommended for approval by a regulatory advisory panel for the treatment of a hereditary form of blindness, which an analysis by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review found that the drug would be more cost-effective in younger patients.

  • Spark chief financial officer Stephen Webster said gene therapy opposes conventional thinking because it can potentially provide a one-time cure opposed to years of treatment, adding that health systems were not keeping pace.

  • "Gene therapy creates an unusual conundrum because we are fitting a round peg in a square hole...it's tough," Webster stated, adding that the company wants t stated "if it works, pay us, and if it stops working, stop paying us."

  • "Trying to capture all this into some sort of price algorithm is very challenging," explained Nightstar Therapeutics CEO David Fellows, continuing "but we are trying to quantify the emotional impact, the care-giver impact, the effect on careers and so on."

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