FDA approves Novartis' 'breakthrough' leukemia drug — with a price tag of $475k

The FDA approved Novartis' revolutionary CAR-T cell leukemia therapy, which uses patients' genetically modified immune cells to fight the disease — at the cost of $475,000 per treatment, according to STAT.

The drug, Kymriah, is the first CAR-T therapy to come before the FDA and was approved for the treatment of patients up to 25 years old with relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

A clinical trial of the leukemia drug deemed a "breakthrough" by physicians revealed 83 percent of patients treated with CAR-T cell therapy have gone into remission.

While the price tag of $475,000 per treatment seems staggering, it is much less than the $649,000 per treatment price analysts expected.

"We're entering a new frontier in medical innovation with the ability to reprogram a patient's own cells to attack a deadly cancer," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD.

The FDA's approval came weeks earlier than expected. 

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