Tiny UK Biotech Takes On GlaxoSmithKline's $730 000 Gene Therapy - (Bloomberg via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Orchard Therapeutics is developing an investigational treatment named OTL-101 that could potentially compete with GlaxoSmithKline's gene therapy Strimvelis, Bloomberg reported.

  • Since its approval two years ago, only five patients have been treated with GlaxoSmithKline's $730 000 therapy, which is only administered at a single centre in Milan.

  • Unlike Strimvelis, which cannot be transported, Orchard aims to use frozen cells that can be transported around the world.

  • "Having patients move to one centre in another country is not an easy way to manage things," stated Orchard CEO Mark Rothera, adding that his company's strategy "means patients can be treated where they live."

  • Rothera also hinted that Orchard would be interested in a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline but cautioned that the UK drugmaker "has to make that decision."

  • "So far there's no option of this nature in the US, there's no option in Latin America, and no option in Asia," the executive stated, continuing "we want to build on [GlaxoSmithKline's] heritage and the foundation they've already established."

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