KUWAIT: Central Circle Company added a milestone in the modern medical history of Kuwait through its contribution in the delivery of the world’s most expensive drug used to treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Zolgensma, valued at $2.1 million, was delivered to four patients and their medical teams with the highest degree of efficiency.

This contribution is an additional value that increases the speed of response of the health system in Kuwait to face the burden of SMA in children. Spinal muscular atrophy is one of the rarest genetic diseases in the world. Kuwait has registered at least 10 cases so far, which are handled by the concerned medical team at the health ministry efficiently and with distinctive efforts.

Doctors prepare to inject a patient suffering from spinal muscular atrophy with Zolgensma

Dr Mohammed Ziad Al-Alyan, Chief Executive Officer of Central Circle Company, declared that this initiative is an important step in strengthening the partnership between the private and government sectors represented by the health ministry towards promoting a healthy community and improving the health status of all its members, including patients with rare diseases such as SMA.

He also expressed pride that Central Circle Company is the first institution in the region that was able to bring the first gene medication in the world – Zolgensma – which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Central Circle Company exerted a lot of technical and logistic efforts to transport and deliver this drug, with special technical requirements such as keeping the drug under the temperature of – 60°C during its period of validity of only up to 14 days.
Head of Sabah Hospital’s neurology department Dr Asma Al-Tawari announced two patients diagnosed with SMA were injected with Zolgensma, adding the procedure was held in the presence of hospital director Dr Nayef Al-Harbi and doctors Iman Al-Enezi and Najeeb Al-Othman.

Adan Hospital’s pharmaceutical department’s pharmacist Hussein Al-Enezi also announced the arrival of the world’s most expensive medicine, adding that Kuwait is the first country to use it after the US and Europe. Enezi said the medicine was procured to treat two other SMA cases under supervision of the genetic diseases center manager Dr Laila Bastaki and doctors Tawari and Sara Al-Enezi.

Enezi explained that the new medicine targets the genes involved in SMA and replaces those that are damaged without any side effects to enable the patient to start producing the protein responsible for motor genes needed for respiratory, heart and general movement, in addition to putting an end to patients’ need for artificial breathing devices. “This medicine is a once-in-a-lifetime injection,” he added. Enezi added that the medicine was delivered by a specialized transport company to maintain perfect storage conditions and that the medicine was provided for four patients – two at Adan Hospital and two at Sabah Hospital.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi