So­bi’s $50M bet on a rare dis­ease drug pays off with a quick FDA nod

Just 4 months af­ter So­bi paid Novim­mune $50 mil­lion in cash — and put $400 mil­lion up in mile­stones — for a rare dis­ease drug called ema­palum­ab, the FDA has fol­lowed up with a quick OK on mar­ket­ing.

The drug is used to treat he­mo­phago­cyt­ic lym­pho­his­ti­o­cy­to­sis, or HLH, which is an au­toim­mune con­di­tion in which cells be­come over­ac­tive, re­leas­ing mol­e­cules that spur in­flam­ma­tion. The FDA notes that symp­toms in­clude “fever, en­larged liv­er or spleen and de­creased num­ber of blood cells.”

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