PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s eye-watering: the cost of a revolutionary treatment developed in Philadelphia that’s designed to cure a rare type of blindness.
Wall Street, however, expected the price to be even higher:
“We think the value of Luxturna is in excess of a million dollars,” said Spark Therapeutics CEO Jeff Marrazzo.
Marrazzo says they’ll charge $850,000 — or $425,000 per eye afflicted with an inherited form of vision loss.
“We’ve tried to balance the concerns about accessibility that patients, families, and health care professionals have voiced; the concerns about budget impact we’ve heard from payers; as well as the need for us to build and create a path for a sustainable business model,” said Marrazzo.
Marrazzo tells CNBC the price for the gene therapy is outcomes-based — meaning patients get some of their money back if it’s not a success.
“I really saw in detail for the first time my mother and father’s faces,” he said.
Luxturna worked for Christian Guardino, who told KYW he received the single dose as part of a clinical trial at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia with co-developer Penn Medicine.
“It’s just been incredible,” said Guardino.