Peter Marks (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

Even FDA's Pe­ter Marks is wor­ried about the com­mer­cial vi­a­bil­i­ty of gene and cell ther­a­pies

When blue­bird bio’s gene ther­a­py to treat be­ta tha­lassemia won Eu­ro­pean ap­proval in 2019, the near­ly $2 mil­lion per pa­tient price tag for the po­ten­tial cure seemed like a sur­mount­able hur­dle.

Fast for­ward two years lat­er, and blue­bird has with­drawn Zyn­te­glo, the be­ta thal drug, along with the rest of its gene ther­a­py port­fo­lio from Eu­rope, which the com­pa­ny said is gen­er­al­ly un­will­ing to pay a fair price for the treat­ment.

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