Trending News Today: Novartis Prices Zolgensma at $2.1 Million, Offers Innovative Access Programs

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Priced at $2.125 million, or an annualized cost of $425,000 per year for 5 years, Novartis’ newly-approved gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) will be the world’s most expensive medication, The American Journal of Managed Care reported. According to the article, onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi (Zolgensma) is the first gene therapy to be approved for the treatment of children under 2 years old with SMA, an inherited neuromuscular disease. AveXis, a Novartis company, announced that it will work with payers to implement 5-year outcomes-based agreements and novel pay-over-time options, as well offer a patient program to support affordability and access, the article reported.

A new study suggests e-cigarette flavorings may increase the risk of heart disease, The Associated Press reported. According to the article, the researchers grew cells that normally line healthy human blood vessels and exposed the cells to 6 different e-cigarette flavorings to test if the flavors caused any effects. Overall, the study showed that vaping and some flavorings, even without nicotine, triggered blood vessel dysfunction, with cinnamon and menthol being the most toxic, the article reported.

Newron will delay a clinical trial of its investigational schizophrenia treatment evenamide following FDA concerns about the medication’s adverse effects, Reuters reported. According to the article, the agency raised concerns about central nervous system events that have emerged in rats and dogs. Newron announced that the “start of the proposed phase 2/3 studies will be delayed until after discussion of the results of such studies with the FDA and making necessary changes in the planned pivotal studies”, the article reported.