Brazil aims to manufacture its own cell therapies — at a fraction of the current cost

Brazil’s Ministry of Health is working with a US nonprofit to locally manufacture CAR-T therapies and potentially other cell and gene therapies at a much lower cost.

The goal is to provide cell therapy free of charge to patients while charging Brazil’s health system around $35,000 a dose, which is roughly one-tenth of the cost in Europe and an even smaller fraction of US costs.

CAR-T therapies have transformed the treatment of certain blood cancers, but a course of treatment can cost nearly $500,000 in the US, and widespread access has been plagued by limited supply and complex manufacturing processes.

The treatments have remained out of reach in many regions outside the US and Europe. The first US approval came in 2017 for Novartis’ lymphoma CAR-T therapy Kymriah.

Boro Dropulić

Fiocruz, the public health and research foundation operated by Brazil’s Ministry of Health, and the…
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