Several of the families I write about say that it takes about $3-5 million to fund a phase 1 clinical trial for a handful of patients to test a gene transfer protocol. A phase 1 trial assesses safety and possibly efficacy (any measurable improvement or slowing of the disease course) in a few patients. The small patient pool may reflect the rarity of the disorder and/or the high cost – a viral vector alone can run $1 million.

imgresSo I thought I’d put the cost to launch a phase 1 clinical trial for gene therapy into perspective for Rare Disease Day 2016, February 29. Here are 14 random things that cost ~$5 million:

• A 30-second Super Bowl commercial
• 1/5 of Leonardo DiCaprio’s fee per film
• 1/3 of Jennifer Lawrence’s fee per film
Donald_Trump_-_Caricature_(23414300891)• 1/1000th of a presidential political campaign or of Donald Trump’s net worth
• 5 years of Chris Christie’s travel budget
• Annual salary for a judge on The Voice

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About the Author

Ricki Lewis is a science writer with a PhD in genetics. The author of several textbooks and thousands of articles in scientific, medical, and consumer publications, Ricki’s first narrative nonfiction book, “The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It,” was published by St. Martin’s Press in March 2012. In addition to writing, Ricki provides genetic counseling for parents-to-be at CareNet Medical Group in Schenectady, NY and teaches “Genethics” an online course for master’s degree students at the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical Center.

1 thought on “14 Things That Cost the Same As a Gene Therapy Clinical Trial”

  1. Joyvonne kwamboka ombega says:

    Am one in a million with a rare syndrome mostly caused by a gene Mutation. Its reversible but i cant afford even my clinical check ups. Am just hanging in there trusting God for a miracle.

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