First gene therapy drug wins insurance coverage in Japan

Six months after Collategene became the first gene therapeutic drug cleared for use in Japan, the country’s health insurance system announced in September 2019 it would be placed on the list of pharmaceuticals approved for coverage. The drug, which introduces genes that create proteins to a patient’s body, is projected to be used to treat clogged arteries, among other conditions. The decision to make the drug eligible for government guaranteed insurance coverage is expected to reduce the price of the drug for patients in Japan by as much as 70%.