Biogen recently announced new interim Phase 2 results from NURTURE, the ongoing open-label, single-arm study evaluating the efficacy and safety of SPINRAZA or nusinersen among pre-symptomatic infants with spinal muscular atrophy. Additionally, data from a case series conducted on SPINRAZA-treated teens and young adults was also released. The main findings of which are summarized below:
- NURTURE study results reported that all study participants (25 infants) were alive, did not require permanent ventilaton, and experienced improved motor function as of July 5, 2017, compared to a decline seen in SMA natural history
- One-hundred percent of NURTURE participants achieved the age-expected World Health Organization motor milestone of sitting without support – a development never seen with SMA Type 1.
- In a case series conducted on SPINRAZA-treated teens and young adults with SMA Type 2 and 3 (17 to 19 years old upon their last visit) demonstrated stable or improved motor function and improved quality of life
In the NURTURE study, SPINRAZA was administered to infants six weeks old or younger (n=25), who were in the pre-symptomatic stage, genetically-diagnosed with SMA and had two or three copies of the SMN2 gene (n=15 for two copies (most likely to develop Type 1 SMA); n=10 for three copies (most likely to develop Type 2 SMA)). At the time of this interim analysis, infants had been followed for up to 25.6 months – well beyond the typical timeframe when most infants with Type 1 SMA would have required permanent ventilation or died. The interim analysis, titled, “Nusinersen in Infants Who Initiate Treatment in a Pre-Symptomatic State of SMA: Interim Efficacy and Safety Results from the Phase 2 NURTURE Study,” showed that all infants were alive and none required tracheostomy or permanent ventilation.
NURTURE participants also achieved a mean CHOP INTEND score, which measures general motor function among infants with SMA, of 58.4 at last visit (out of a maximum score of 64). Many continue to improve and maintain these scores beyond a point in time at which untreated individuals with Type 1 SMA would experience a significant decline. Overall, the study showed that SPINRAZA was well-tolerated and no new safety concerns were identified.
Biogen has also released results from their case study entitled, “Nusinersen Experience in Teenagers and Young Adults With Spinal Muscular Atrophy,” which showcased SPINRAZA’s stabilizing or improving effect on teens and young adults with Type 2 or 3 SMA.
In the case series, participants (n=5) were 14 to 15 years old. One participant was Type 2 and four were Type 3, and all received multiple doses of SPINRAZA over 2.5 years of observation. The results included improvement on the Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale–Expanded (HFMSE); stabilization on the Upper Limb Module (ULM); improvement in the Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT); and stable or improved scores on the Assessment of Caregiver Experience with Neuromuscular Disease (ACEND).
Cure SMA Provides Seed Funding for Spinraza
From 2003 to 2006, Cure SMA provided the very first research funding needed to begin investigation into the therapeutic approach behind SPINRAZA. We would like to thank and acknowledge Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School for generating critical intellectual property for the program that was licensed to Ionis Pharmaceuticals. We specifically thank Drs. Adrian Krainer, Yimin Hua and colleagues at CSHL for years of dedication to and hard work on the preclinical development of Spinraza for SMA, and Drs. Ravindra Singh and Elliot Androphy for their work funded by Cure SMA in originally identifying the ISSN1 gene sequence, which is the sequence targeted in Spinraza.
For more information, visit www.curesma.org/spinraza.