AveXis presents new data at EPNS continuing to show significant therapeutic benefit of Zolgensma in prolonging event-free survival now up to 5 years of age in patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) Type 1

  • New interim data from SPR1NT study supports critical importance of early intervention in pre-symptomatic SMA patients, leading to age-appropriate major milestone gain
  • Updated results from global STR1VE study demonstrate that Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi) has significant therapeutic benefit in prolonging event-free survival in SMA Type 1 patients versus natural history
  • Patients in START long-term follow-up study (cohort 2), who are an average age of 4.2 years (oldest patient is 5 years), continue to achieve developmental milestones

Basel, September 19, 2019 - AveXis, a Novartis company, today announced that new interim data from the Phase 3 SPR1NT trial in pre-symptomatic patients as well as interim data from the ongoing Phase 3 STR1VE clinical program for Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi) showed positive outcomes, demonstrating age-appropriate major milestone gain with pre-symptomatic treatment and prolonged event-free survival* in patients with SMA Type 1. An additional oral presentation highlighted interim results from the long-term follow-up of the Phase 1 START study. These data will be presented during the 2019 European Paediatric Neurology Society (EPNS) Congress.

"For families who never expected their children to reach meaningful motor milestones, the results we’re presenting at EPNS demonstrate the life-changing impact Zolgensma can have on children with SMA Type 1," said Olga Santiago, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, AveXis. "It is critical to diagnose SMA and begin treatment as early as possible in order to stop irreversible motor neuron loss and make the achievement of major motor milestones such as crawling, sitting and walking a possibility."

SMA is a rare and devastating genetic disease that leads to progressive muscle weakness, paralysis and, when left untreated in its most severe form (Type 1), death. The disease affects 550-600 infants in Europe.[1,2]   


Phase 3 SPR1NT Data as of May 31, 2019
SPR1NT is an ongoing Phase 3, open-label, single-arm, multi-center trial designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a one-time intravenous (IV) infusion of Zolgensma in pre-symptomatic patients with SMA and two or three copies of SMN2 who are <=6 weeks of age. As of May 31, 10 patients with two copies of SMN2, 12 patients with three copies of SMN2 and one patient with four copies of SMN2 were treated. The mean age of patients in the two-copy cohort was 6.6 months at last follow up and 4.6 months for the three-copy cohort. Of the twoand three-copy patients who had completed their six-month swallow evaluation, all had normal swallow function and were fed exclusively by mouth; of the 22 patients being evaluated overall, all were alive and free of permanent ventilation. All patients with two copies of SMN2 achieved or maintained a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Infant Test of Neuromuscular Disorders (CHOP-INTEND) score of greater than 50, with seven patients achieving a CHOP-INTEND score of greater than or equal to 60 and five patients reaching the maximum score of 64. Of patients with two copies of SMN2, six (60%) were able to sit without support for at least 30 seconds at an average age of 7.6 months. Three of these patients (30%) were able to stand with assistance at an average age of 10.1 months. The natural history of untreated patients with SMA indicates that patients with two copies of SMN2 will never sit without assistance.

Thirteen of the 18 patients (72.2%) experienced at least one treatment-emergent adverse event (TEAE) and seven (38.9%) were reported to have a TEAE considered by the investigator to be related to Zolgensma. Three serious TEAEs were reported in three treated patients: croup (one patient), lethargy (one patient), and hypercalcemia (one patient). All serious TEAEs were resolved and considered unrelated to treatment. In addition, TEAEs of special interest were reported in four patients: hepatic enzyme increased (one patient), liver function test increased (two patients), transaminases increased (one patient). One patient had asymptomatic increases of blood creatine phosphokinase MB and troponin, both resolved.


Phase 3 STR1VE Global Data as of May 31, 2019
The Global Phase 3 STR1VE clinical program includes ongoing, open-label, single-arm, single-dose, multi-center trials (STR1VE-US in the United States, STR1VE-EU in Europe and STR1VE-AP in Asia Pacific) designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a single, one-time IV infusion of Zolgensma in patients with SMA Type 1 who are less than six months of age at the time of gene therapy, with one or two copies of the SMN2 backup gene and who have bi-allelic SMN1 gene deletion or point mutations.

At the EPNS Congress, STR1VE-EU data will be presented side-by-side with STR1VE-US data. Collectively, these results demonstrate that a single, one-time treatment with Zolgensma has significant therapeutic benefit in prolonging event-free survival compared to natural history and rapidly improving motor function in patients with SMA Type 1.

Patients treated with Zolgensma continued to gain motor milestones. The mean follow-up time since dosing was 12.1 months in STR1VE-US and 4.2 months in STR1VE-EU. Eleven patients (50%) in the STR1VE-US study and two patients (6%) in the STR1VE-EU study achieved the ability to sit without support for at least 30 seconds according to Bayley-III Gross Motor criteria - an achievement babies with SMA Type 1 never reach in the natural history of the disease. Five of the six patients (83%) in STR1VE-US who reached 18 months of age (study completion) had achieved the milestone of sitting independently for 30 seconds (primary study endpoint). Additionally, one patient in the STR1VE-US study could pull to a stand and walk with assistance. In STR1VE-US, CHOP-INTEND scores increased by an average of 6.9 points one month, and 11.7 points three months after gene therapy treatment. In STR1VE-EU, scores increased by an average of 6.4 points one month, and 10.6 points three months after gene therapy treatment.

While the two trials represent the same patient population in terms of SMA type and entry criteria, e.g., age range and functional status, there were differences in the baseline characteristics in the patients from the two trials. In STR1VE-US the mean age at dosing was 3.7 months and the mean CHOP-INTEND score was 32. Whereas in STR1VE-EU, the mean age of dosing was 4.1 months and the mean CHOP-INTEND score was 28. Additionally, at the start of the trial in STR1VE-US, none of the patients needed nutritional or ventilatory support. In STR1VE-EU, nine patients needed nutritional support and seven needed ventilatory support. Lastly, none of the 25 STR1VE-US patients screened for AAV9 antibodies had exclusionary AAV9 antibody titers (>1:50), whereas six of the 40 patients screened in STR1VE-EU had titers >1:50. Upon rescreening, five STR1VE-EU patients were excluded due to elevated AAV9 antibodies.

"These updated data reinforce what we have seen in other Zolgensma studies, including survival of children with SMA Type 1 who would have in the past died or required permanent ventilation before the age of two," said Eugenio Mercuri, M.D., PhD., Department of Pediatric Neurology, Catholic University, Rome, Italy. "We are seeing further robust evidence of the potential of gene therapy to effectively halt motor neuron loss, help patients achieve motor milestones and alter the course of SMA with a one-time treatment."

Of the 22 patients enrolled in STR1VE-US, 20 were alive, without permanent ventilation, and continuing in the trial. Of 19 patients who had either reached 13.6 months of age or experienced an event, 17 patients (89.5%) survived without permanent ventilation. The mean age at the most recent visit was 15.8 months at an average follow-up time of 12.1 months.
Natural history indicates that only 25% of Type 1 patients will survive event-free by the time they reach 13.6 months of age. CHOP-INTEND scores increased by an average of 6.9 points one month and 11.7 points three months after gene therapy treatment.

In the STR1VE-US trial, one patient died from respiratory failure, which was deemed by the investigator and an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board to be unrelated to treatment. Additionally, after the safety data cutoff (March 8, 2019) one patient in the STR1VE-US study was determined by the investigator to have required =5%) were elevated aminotransferases and vomiting.

Please read full  Prescribing Information for Zolgensma, including Boxed Warning for Acute Serious Liver Injury.