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NHS England agree to pay for Biogen's $750,000 a year SMA treatment Spinraza

NHS England has agreed to pay an undisclosed price for Biogen’s spinal muscle atrophy (SMA) treatment Spinraza.

England’s National Health Service said it had reached a ‘managed access agreement’ under which it will fund the treatment for a limited period of time, while collecting data on the drug’s effectiveness.

Spinraza, which is administered every four months via spinal injections, has a US list price of $750,000 for the first year and $375,000 for every year after.

Top Ten most popular articles on this week

With the Pharmafocus team having avoided hurricane Florence and finally arriving back in the UK just last night, after stopping by the FlyPharma 2018 Conference in Miami, FLA it’s time to look over this week’s top ten most popular news stories.

Topping the list is the news that FDA recruitment official Melanie Keller has said that Trump is making it difficult to attract top talent; a claim which has been disputed by others inside the organisation.

Protesters in Manchester call on NICE to approve Biogen's $750,000 drug Spinraza

Image Credit: Juliux | Manchester Town Hall

Protesters in Manchester have called on the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), to overturn their rejection of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) treatment Spinraza, after the public body chose not to approve the orphan drug for use on the NHS due “to uncertainties over its long-term effectiveness and its extremely high cost.”

NICE rejects Biogen's spinal muscular dystrophy drug Spinraza after long delay

UK watchdog NICE has rejected Biogen’s spinal muscular dystrophy drug Spinraza (nusinersen) over cost concerns, denying patients the only available treatment for the condition.

The news is the latest in a series of roadblocks for the drug. Following its approval last year, review of Spinraza was delayed by the institute until January this year because of contention over how to how to handle its route to market. This time round, NICE took issue with the drug’s price tag.

Biogen boosts pipeline with $1bn Ionis deal

Somewhat unusually for an early drug development deal, Biogen has put down a serious amount of cash up-front in its $1 billion drug development deal with Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

Perhaps signifying the confidence Biogen has in Ionis’ technology, it was prepared to pay $375 million to secure up to seven drug candidates.

The rest of the deal is made up of Biogen cementing its stake in the company, by acquiring $625 million worth of stock.

Biogen’s Spinraza to go before NICE

Biogen received marketing approval from the European Commission for Spinraza (nusinersen), its treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), in May of last year but has struggled to generate access across Europe.

One step towards improving patients’ access to the treatment was announced with Biogen announcing that NICE had agreed to evaluate the treatment through its Single Technology Appraisal (STA) route.

EMA gives positive opinion on Biogen’s spinal muscular atrophy drug Spinraza

Biogen has revealed that Spinraza (nusinersen), its treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) , has received a positive opinion from the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).

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