November 8, 2019 / 5:54 PM / 8 days ago

Celgene's drug for anemia in beta thalassemia priced at $3,441/ 25 mg vial

(Reuters) - Celgene Corp’s treatment for anemia in patients with beta thalassemia, a rare blood disorder, would be priced at $3,441 for a 25-milligram vial of the drug, partner Acceleron Pharma Inc said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the treatment, Reblozyl, on Friday. The drug was jointly developed by Acceleron and Celgene, which is being bought by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

A typical dose of Reblozyl consists of 1 mg of the drug for a kilogram of patient’s weight. A 75 mg vial of Reblozyl will be available at a wholesale acquisition cost of $10,323.53 per vial, Acceleron said.

The drug is expected to be available a week following the approval. Acceleron will co-promote Reblozyl with Celgene in North America, while Celgene will be responsible for the drug’s commercialization outside of North America.

Bristol-Myers had announced in early January that it planned to buy Celgene for $74 billion. This will make Reblozyl a part of the new company at a time when Celgene’s flagship multiple myeloma drug, Revlimid, awaits loss of exclusivity starting 2022.

Baird analyst Brian Skorney, who expects the drug to bring in $1.7 billion in worldwide sales by 2027, said the drug is a nice product, but “won’t be anything that has shock and awe value for Bristol”.

Beta thalassemia is an inherited disorder that reduces the production of hemoglobin in blood, which can lead to lack of oxygen in many parts of the body and anemia.

Treatment for people with beta thalassemia often consists of lifelong regimens of chronic blood transfusions for survival and treatment for iron overload due to the transfusions.

“Today’s approval provides patients with a therapy that, for the first time, will help decrease the number of blood transfusions”, the FDA said in a statement.

Shares of Acceleron were up nearly 7% at $43.3 in afternoon trade.

($1 = 0.9074 euros)

Reporting by Manas Mishra and Trisha Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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