The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Yescarta, a new gene therapy to treat patients with certain types of lymphoma, marking the second approval for this potential breakthrough approach to fighting cancer.
“This is a home run. This is a huge game changer,” Dr. Marc Siegel told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.”
The cell-based gene therapy, which was developed by Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) Kite Pharma, will be used to treat patients who have not responded to or have relapsed after other treatments, and has had a 50% success rate, according to Dr. Siegel.
“It takes our most powerful immune cells in the body known as T-cells and it reengineers them to fight the B-cells that are causing the cancer in the first place,” he said, adding that the innovation also has implications for more cancers. “It’s going to be used to fight solid tumors. This is personalized medicine.”
The price of the drug will be $373,000 for a single treatment but is worth the hefty price tag because it saves lives, in Dr. Siegel’s opinion.