Related: Why are so few patients taking the new drugs for sickle cell?
Next year, two curative gene therapies could be approved for sickle cell disease. Yet drugmakers are pouring billions into developing new and more conventional drugs for the disease, even if they are likely to be far less transformative for individual patients.
The mismatch comes from the fact that current gene therapies take too steep a toll on the body to be given to more than a fraction of patients in the U.S. and Europe. And they require too much medical infrastructure to be given in most of South Asia and West Africa, where most of the world’s roughly 120 million sickle cell patients live.
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