AscellaHealth recognised for rare disease funding programme

AscellaHealth's Craig Caceci

AscellaHealth has been given an industry award for a financial solution designed to meet the affordability challenges of expensive treatments for rare and complex diseases.

The Pharma FlexFund programme was created to tackle the issue of funding cutting-edge interventions like cell and gene therapies, which can offer one-off treatment of rare diseases, but typically cost millions of dollars.

The programme utilises a pay-over-time approach for payers, helping to spread the costs of new therapies and increasing the chances that they can secure reimbursement and become commercially viable.

One of the key recommendations in a 2021 BioIndustry Association (BIA) report on the sector was that payers should allow multi-year payments for cell and gene therapies.

Pharma FlexFund was pivotal to AscellaHealth winning the Best Global Specialty Pharmacy & Healthcare Services Organisation category in this year’s Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Awards run by Global Health & Pharma magazine. It also helped the company scoop up a Healthcare Eagles Award earlier this year.

“Recognition in this way shows that our customised and novel solutions for pharmaceutical manufacturers and other stakeholders will truly revolutionise the specialty and rare disease pharmaceutical industry by streamlining access to medications, increasing affordability, and improving overall therapeutic outcomes,” said Craig Caceci (pictured above), managing director at AscellaHealth EU/UK.

“By providing a solution that enables expensive, life-saving, and novel therapies to be brought to market, patients will be able to access the treatments they need,” he added.

The judges in the competition said that Pharma FlexFund “introduces a better way forward with regards to funding for private healthcare organisations and the NHS, saving precious resources to be able to fund further research into solutions for rare and complex diseases.”

Affordability is becoming a key issue for cell and gene therapies, not least because so many of them are now emerging from the pharma industry pipeline, with more than 1,500 trials ongoing in the US alone, according to the register.

A report published recently by Precedence Research estimated that the global cell and gene therapy market was worth around $15.5 billion in 2022, but could balloon to more than $82 billion by 2032.