It looks like the going price for priority review vouchers is continuing to slide since the go-go days of AbbVie’s $350 million purchase. Still, this morning’s news that Spark Therapeutics is selling its PRV to Jazz Pharmaceuticals $JAZZ for $110 million shows the vouchers continue to draw a pretty penny.
Spark $ONCE was awarded its PRV for rare pediatric disease back when Luxturna was approved, allowing a therapy to navigate quickly through red tape via the inside track. But Spark is opting to sell off the voucher instead of using it.
“The sale of our PRV will provide an influx of capital to reinvest back into the research and development of our robust pipeline of investigational gene therapies that may provide benefits for people with limited treatment options,” said Joseph La Barge, Spark’s chief legal officer, in a statement.
These PRVs have had a controversial history. Regulators have made it clear that they don’t like being forced to give the inside track at the FDA to any company that can afford to pay the price to hurry along a therapy that’s not so urgently needed. But lawmakers like the added incentive, claiming that it encourages innovation where it’s needed most.
As a result, the number of PRVs on the market has multiplied. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the vouchers has been the price they’ve commanded. The first voucher ever sold (by BioMarin) was purchased for $67 million in 2014. Months later, Gilead bought Knight’s voucher for $125 million, and the price climbed to an eye-popping $350 million in 2015, when AbbVie bought United’s voucher.
But prices appear to be falling. In February, Sarepta auctioned its PRV for $125 million to Gilead, and today’s $110 million falls in line with the trend.
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