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OPEN Health: Succeeding with Star Wars medicine: Translating the science and value of gene therapy to key stakeholders

The biggest tech revolution of the 21st century isn’t digital, it’s biological. The revolution inspired by DNA sequencing and gene editing has taken medical science to a galaxy once considered far, far away: gene therapy. Commentators have coined it ‘Star Wars medicine’.  However, in an era wherein the global burden of disease is stretching healthcare resources to their limits, ‘space age’ innovation could very easily be brought down to earth by old world health systems and real-world challenges. The personalised nature of gene therapies means many will come with a high price tag, as well as an overwhelming need to reconfigure ageing pathways if patients are going to access them.  It’s a metaphorical conundrum that tests the generations: the space age meets the stone age. So how can biopharma companies bring Star Wars medicine to Flintstone health systems? If the industry is to fulfil the promise of gene therapy, it must transport its commercialisation strategies to another dimension – and put value-based communications at the centre of the journey.

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