ELITE 2018 Transformational Leader Jay Newman of Spark Therapeutics

Jay Newman

Head of U.S. Market & Patient Access

Spark Therapeutics

Creating a Payer Pathway for Gene Therapies

Spark Therapeutics has a motto: “We don’t follow footsteps. We create the path.” But, that could also perfectly sum up Jay Newman.

When the FDA approved Spark’s LUXTURNA™ (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl) in December 2017, it was the first gene therapy in the United States. That means there was absolutely no template for how to bring this first-of-its-kind therapy to the U.S. payer market. So, as Jay spearheaded the Market Access launch of LUXTURNA he decided to “put conventional wisdom aside and do the opposite.”

The 21st Century Cures Act allows manufacturers to share product-level data with payers in an appropriate manner—prior to approval. Jay took advantage of this opportunity, forging a new deployment model and innovative, iPad-based resources for Payer Leads to educate the payers on Spark, disease state, and product information.

In addition, Spark’s leadership was supportive in the creation of innovative payment models which best supported a gene therapy product. Jay leveraged his years of experience in market access to lead the development of the strategy and resources. He understood that the current payment system is not equipped to accommodate gene therapy treatments such as LUXTURNA. As a result, he put his entire self into leading the creation of the new model, leveraging relationships with multiple payers (Commercial, Medicare, and other government accounts); treatment centers (including physicians, pharmacists, surgeons, and office staff); and Spark’s distribution partner.

Additionally, he also identified and brought in subject matter experts and collaborated across internal stakeholders to receive input. Under Jay’s leadership, in the seemingly unchangeable payer landscape, Spark Therapeutics created a new and innovative framework for contracting, distribution, and reimbursement called the Spark PATH (Pioneering Access to Healthcare). As the first payment and delivery system of its kind, the Spark PATH provides the foundation for future gene therapies and one-time treatments by advancing patient access to care while balancing the needs of the payer and treatment center.

In other words, all future gene therapies now have a path to follow—thanks to Jay and his team.


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