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Wikimedia Creative Commons

Sarepta Therapeutics announced this morning it will sell its rare pediatric disease priority review voucher to Gilead Sciences for $125 million, giving Gilead the rights to have one of its drugs receive fast-track approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The vouchers let drug companies get a decision on their medicines within six months, rather than the standard 10-plus months. The FDA awarded Sarepta the voucher last year at the same time the agency green-lighted Sarepta's drug that treats Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a move that was controversial at the time because there was disagreement over whether the drug was beneficial. Sarepta still has to conduct a clinical trial to back up the benefits of that drug.

Why this matters: Priority review vouchers have become valuable commodities as drug companies look for ways to jump ahead in the FDA line. There have been a handful of transactions in the decade that vouchers have been around. But Sarepta's $125 million deal fetched a lower price than the two most recent voucher sales of $350 million and $245 million. Analysts at investment bank Leerink Partners thought Sarepta could have gotten at least $200 million, raising questions of whether there is a "broader decline" of interest in the vouchers that command "increasingly astronomical" price tags.

Go deeper

Pakistan PM will "absolutely not" allow CIA to use bases for Afghanistan operations

Pakistan will "absolutely not" allow the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to use bases on its soil for cross-border counterterrorism missions after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan tells "Axios on HBO" in a wide-ranging interview airing Sunday at 6 pm ET.

Why it matters: The quality of counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities in Afghanistan is a critical question facing the Biden administration as U.S. forces move closer to total withdrawal by Sept. 11.

5 hours ago - World

U.S. wants nuclear deal done before Iran's new president takes power

Iranian negotiatorAbbas Araghchi arrives at the Grand Hotel Wien for the nuclear talks. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration wants to finalize a deal with Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal in the six weeks remaining before a new Iranian president is inaugurated, a U.S. official tells Axios.

Key quote: The official said it would be "concerning" if talks dragged on into early August, when Iran's transition is due to take place. "If we don't have a deal before a new government is formed, I think that would raise serious questions about how achievable it's going to be," the official said.