A new gene therapy treatment is developed to cure the blindness which costs $850,000 (U.S.) for a one-time treatment, the company that makes it has said on Wednesday. The Spark Therapeutics Luxturna new drug that cures the blindness and it is one of the most expensive drugs in the world.
Jeff Marrazzo, chief executive of Spark said the cost of this Spark Therapeutics Luxturna is $425,000 per eye, or $850,000. This is the gene therapy in the United States (U.S) that treats a rare, inherited retinal disorder that can lead to blindness.
According to the company, the medicine can be injected in a single dose to the blind patient. Luxturna is a new drug to cure a rare form of inherited blindness and many other companies are developing the same type of therapies for several common diseases.
Jeff Marrazzo, chief executive of SparkThe manufacturer of this genetic treatment is a Philadelphia-based biotechnology company Spark Therapeutics. Spark Therapeutics Luxturna was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the last month (December).
Previously the spark said the therapy worth more than $1 million. But after listening to the health insurers about the affordability of the treatment the company decided to sell less than the $1 million. Currently, there are around 1,000 cases of people found with the hereditary retinal disorder and it is expected that 10 to 20 new cases to be added each year.
The cells which are located in the back of the eye that form the retina are gradually disturbed by the mutations. This can be lead to lose the vision. Previously there is no cure for the blindness.
The treatment involves injecting a cold virus directly into the eye to replace the faulty genes to the retina.
Spark said they will reimburse patients if the gene therapy treatment failed or if it is not to be effective.