Novartis brings gene therapy to market in Canada

21 September 2022 13:13

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Basel/Dorval - Pharma group Novartis has been granted approval in Canada for its gene therapy Luxturna. A one-time dose can be administered for previously untreatable inherited vision loss. It is a progressive condition that ultimately leads to severe visual impairment and blindness.

Novartis has successfully concluded negotiations with the pan Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance and can now introduce its Luxturna gene therapy in Canada. According to a press release from the pharma group, the previously untreatable inherited vision loss can be treated with a one-time gene therapy.

Inherited retinal dystrophy is a rare, serious and progressive eye disease affecting children and young adults. They are a major cause of early onset blindness. Prior to the approval of Luxturna, there were no available pharmacological treatment options for this form of inherited blindness.

“For all Canadians who urgently need treatment with this innovative therapy, this is an important step to achieve access,” said Andrea Marazzi, Country President of Novartis Canada, based in Dorval in the province of Quebec. “We will continue to work collaboratively with provincial and territorial jurisdictions so that patients whose vision is impaired as a result of a mutation in both copies of the RPE65 gene can have access to Luxturna through public drug plans as quickly as possible.”

Doug Earle, President and CEO of Fighting Blindness Canada, encourages the Canadian provinces to “recognise the hope Luxturna represents and prioritise access as there are no approved alternative treatments available for these Canadian”.

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