Are we back where we started with the price tag of priority review vouchers? Their dwindling value slid further south this morning, with news that Kyowa Hakko Kirin and its partner Ultragenyx sold off their rare disease PRV for $80.6 million. That’s a far cry from the go-go days of AbbVie’s historic $350 million PRV purchase in 2015.
Kyowa revealed Wednesday morning that the duo sold its PRV for a rare pediatric disease drug to an undisclosed buyer during Q2, according to a BioCentury report. The companies received the voucher in April when the FDA approved Crysvita to treat abnormally low levels of phosphate in the blood.
PRV prices have been falling ever since that major AbbVie deal, with Spark and Jazz announcing a PRV sale of $110 million this April. And before that, Sarepta auctioned its PRV to Gilead for $125 million. Ultragenyx itself sold a PRV to Novartis last December for $130 million.
The shrinking deal size may simply reflect supply and demand, with the FDA handing out more PRVs today than it used to. 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 today’s price of $80.6 million falls awfully close to the beginning point in PRV sales. It will be interesting to see where this market goes.
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