January 3, 2018 / 2:35 PM / 6 months ago

Spark Therapeutics' vision-loss gene therapy to cost $850,000 per patient

Jan 3 (Reuters) - Spark Therapeutics Inc said on Wednesday it would charge $850,000 per patient for its gene therapy to treat a rare form of blindness, lesser than analysts’ expectation of around $1 million.

The company said the list price of the therapy, which was approved by the FDA last month, would be $425,000 per dose. (bit.ly/2CxDOZr)

To be sure, the list price of a drug is not necessarily what patients actually pay. Their out-of-pocket cost is based on their individual healthcare insurance plans and duration of treatment.

The FDA’s approval of Spark’s treatment, Luxturna, marks the first time the agency has approved a gene therapy for an inherited disease.

Luxturna treats inherited retinal disease caused by defects in a gene known as RPE65, which tells cells to produce an enzyme critical for normal vision. The condition affects between 1,000 and 2,000 people in the United States.

Shares of the drug developer rose 1.3 percent to $54 on Wednesday. (Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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