FDA Approves Casgevy

Jan. 17, 2024
To produce Casgevy, patients’ hematopoietic stem cells are modified by genome editing utilizing novel CRISPR/Cas9 technology

On Jan. 16, the FDA approved Casgevy, a cell-based gene therapy, for the treatment of patients 12 years of age and older with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia, an inherited disorder characterized by life-long anemia requiring frequent blood transfusions.

To produce Casgevy, patients’ hematopoietic (blood) stem cells are modified by genome editing utilizing novel CRISPR/Cas9 technology. The modified blood stem cells are transplanted back into the patient where they engraft (attach and multiply) within the bone marrow and increase the production of fetal hemoglobin (HbF), a type of hemoglobin that facilitates oxygen delivery and decreases the severity of anemia. The most common side effects were mouth sores, febrile neutropenia (fever associated with a low level of certain white blood cells), and decreased appetite. This application received Fast Track and Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) designations. Today’s approval signifies a second FDA-approved indication for Casgevy, as the product was also recently approved for the treatment of sickle cell disease in patients 12 years and older. 

“Today’s approval is an important step in the advancement of an additional treatment option for individuals with beta-thalassemia, a debilitating disease that places individuals at risk of many serious health problems,” said Nicole Verdun, M.D., director of the Office of Therapeutic Products within the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “The approval of a cell-based gene therapy for this condition using CRISPR/Cas9 technology reflects FDA’s continued commitment to supporting safe and effective treatments that leverage the most promising and cutting-edge medical technologies.”

FDA has more information.

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