Raihan, a 22-month-old toddler from Manikganj, has received Tk22 crore worth gene therapy for his rare neurodegenerative disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) at the National Institute of Neurosciences & Hospital (NINS) with the help of Novartis Bangladesh Ltd.
Starting with Raihan, Bangladesh entered the era of Gene Therapy with joint efforts from FICCI member company Novartis Bangladesh Ltd and National Institute of Neurosciences & Hospital (NINS) on 25 October 2022. The therapy was
administered to treat chronic neurological disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) at NINS. This is a big milestone for Bangladesh as no other gene therapy had ever been administered in Bangladesh before. The cost of this therapy is around US$ 2.1 million (apprx. BDT 22 crore) which was given free as part of Novartis's global Managed Access Program (gMAP). Each year 24 kids around the world suffering from SMA get free access to this therapy under this program. Through this humanitarian initiative of Novartis, new doors have opened up for treating patients of SMA in Bangladesh. Kudos to the team who made this benevolent task happen.