Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration has approved an advanced treatment for mantle cell lymphoma, a rare type of cancer affecting white blood cells. The one-time therapy, made by Gilead Sciences, is branded as Tecartus.

Why it matters: This is the third federal approval of a CAR-T therapy, a new-age cancer treatment in which a person's own immune system cells are extracted, reengineered, and then infused back into the person's bloodstream.

The big picture: The other CAR-T therapies on the market are Kymriah (made by Novartis) and Yescarta (also made by Gilead).

By the numbers: Gilead set the list price of Tecartus at $373,000, the same as Yescarta.

  • However, that does not include other extraneous hospitalization costs.
  • Both of these drugs were part of Kite Pharma, which Gilead bought in 2017 for almost $12 billion.

Between the lines: Gilead said 87% of people who received Tecartus in a clinical trial responded to the infusion, but almost one out of five patients also experienced severe side effects associated with this kind of immunotherapy.

  • The trial was not randomized because the cancer is rare, and consequently, the FDA required a warning for side effects and will closely watch the therapy for safety issues while it's on the market.

Go deeper

Medical ethics in pandemic times

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The COVID-19 pandemic is rife with scientific and medical uncertainty, including debates about the ethics of using experimental treatments.

The big picture: As the global pandemic continues, the tension between providing the best available care for patients and performing trials to determine whether that care is effective risks complicating the medical response.

Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court blocks Alabama curbside voting measure

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday evening blocked a lower court order that would have allowed voters to cast ballots curbside at Alabama polling places on Election Day.

Whit it matters: With less than two weeks until Election Day, the justices voted 5-3 to reinstate the curbside voting ban and overturn a lower court judge's ruling designed to protect people with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: New York reports most COVID cases since MayStudies show drop in coronavirus death rate — The next wave is gaining steam.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.
  5. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases.