Novartis CEO dances around price tag talks for breakthrough gene therapy

May 24, 2019

Days before Novartis is expected to win approval for its breakthrough spinal muscular atrophy treatment, the drugmaker's CEO said he could justify charging up to $5 million for the revolutionary treatment — but that the goal is to set the cost at "a fraction of what is the current standard of care."

Speaking at the company’s biomedical research institute in Cambridge, Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan wouldn’t disclose the price of Zolgensma until the FDA approves it.

Currently, The only approved treatment for SMA is Biogen's Spinraza, which costs $750,000 the first year and $375,000 each year after for the rest of a patient’s lifetime. Zolgensma's advantage is that patients only need one treatment.

Read the Boston Globe story.