Novartis’ Kymriah is the first FDA-approved drug that uses CAR-T technology, which genetically engineers patients’ own blood cells to fight childhood leukemia.

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The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for leukemia patients, which uses gene therapy, or CAR-T, to fight the disease.

The groundbreaking treatment was developed by Novartis and the University of Pennsylvania. It genetically engineers leukemia patients’ own blood cells in order to better recognize and destroy childhood leukemia.

The drug, Kymriah, was approved for people up to 25 years old. The list price is $475,000 for one-time treatment.

Dr. Stephan Grupp of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said, “This is a brand new way of treating cancer. That’s enormously exciting.”

Still, many patients who used the drug suffered side effects such as cytokine release syndrome (CRS), which has flu-like symptoms that could be life-threatening.