FDA clears $3.5 million drug for hemophilia

Yahoo Finance Live anchors discuss reports that the FDA has cleared a new drug to help in treating blood-clotting disorder hemophilia.

Video Transcript

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BRAD SMITH: (JAMAICAN ACCENT) Ah, slapping a turkey baste, mon. It's time for "Cut for Time," three stories, one minute each. We start with this today. The Food and Drug Administration has cleared a new drug to treat blood clotting disorder, hemophilia. The gene therapy is a one-time treatment costing $3.5 million. The cost for the new treatment will be paid for by insurers, not by patients-- thank goodness here. But this a critical clearance for hemophilia.

JULIE HYMAN: Well, and it's a particular type of hemophilia that only affects 40,000 people. And this is a theme that we talked about recently when Merck announced an acquisition of a company that makes a rare disease drug, that the drug makers have been pushing more into these rare disease drugs, in part because they're lucrative, even though it doesn't affect that many patients. But the real breakthrough here is that $300 million drug, you do it one time--

BRAD SMITH: Right. And--

JULIE HYMAN: --to treat this disorder that is really just sort of-- that can be life threatening and affect people's lives dramatically.

BRAD SMITH: Exactly, and because so many patents are rolling off from Merck, Keytruda has been their kind of key, if you will, or their keystone for many years. Now that rolling off 2028, that's what really kind of pushes forward and thrusts forward some of the M&A that we're seeing here.

JULIE HYMAN: Oh, real quick.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah.

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JULIE HYMAN: This is made by a privately held company.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah?

JULIE HYMAN: For this particular drug.