Roche Releases Community Update on Risdiplam

The following is a community update from Genentech/Roche on the risdiplam (RG7916) program.

Dear SMA advocacy community,

As requested, we are very pleased to share an update on the RG7916 program.

We would also like to extend a special thanks to study participants and their families for their incredible commitment to advancing the progress of research in SMA. We acknowledge the tremendous support and collaboration with Patient Organizations around the world. With your partnership, we are able to continue to progress risdiplam as a potential therapeutic option for people with SMA.

RG7916 is now known as risdiplam and you will see risdiplam in all of our communications, starting with this update. During the recent Annual Cure SMA Researcher meeting in Dallas, Texas, we shared the progress of the risdiplam program. You can read more about this in the sections below.

We are also very happy to introduce our newest study, RAINBOWFISH. This study will evaluate risdiplam in pre-symptomatic babies. We will provide more details about this study soon.

Risdiplam is an investigational SMN2 splicing modifier that is given daily by mouth or by g-tube as a liquid and distributes widely throughout the body. Risdiplam has been designed to help the SMN2 gene produce more SMN protein, as people with SMA have a reduced level of SMN protein. Risdiplam is being developed in collaboration with PTC Therapeutics and the SMA Foundation.



FIREFISH is a two-part study in babies aged 1 to 7 months with Type 1 SMA. It is an open label study, which means that all babies receive risdiplam and there is no placebo. The objective of Part 1 was to assess the safety and concentration of risdiplam in plasma at several different dose levels. 

Next steps for FIREFISH

Part 1 has been completed. Information from Part 1 has allowed us to confirm the dose of risdiplam to be investigated in Part 2, which will assess the safety and effiacy of risdiplam. Participants of Part 1 are receiving risdiplam and are still enrolled in FIREFISH as part of an open-label extension phase. 

Part 2 is underway and will assess the safety and efficacy of risdiplam, including an additional 40 babies between the ages of 1 and 7 months. The main analysis of efficacy and safety of risdiplam will occur after all babies have completed one year of treatment, and efficacy will be determined by the number of babies that can sit without assistance after one year of treatment.

SUNFISH update

What is SUNFISH?

SUNFISH is a two-part study evaluating risdiplam in people with Type 2 and 3 SMA between 2 and 25 years of age. The objective of Part 1 was to assess the safety profile and concentration of risdiplam at several different dose levels as well as the level of SMN protein in blood in this population. Participants were randomized so that 2 out of every 3 people receive risdiplam and one receives placebo.

Next steps for SUNFISH

Information from Part 1 has allowed us to confirm the dose of risdiplam to be investigated in Part 2. Part 2 will assess the efficacy and safety of risdiplam. Enrollment into Part 2 of SUNFISH is almost complete, and approximately 168 participants will be included. The main analysis of the efficacy and safety of risdiplam will take place after all participants receive one year of treatment.



JEWELFISH is an exploratory study investigating the safety of risdiplam in people who have Type 2 or 3 SMA, are between 12 and 60 years old and who have previously taken part in a clinical study with another SMN2 targeting therapy.

Next steps for JEWELFISH

The JEWELFISH study is currently ongoing in people aged 12 to 60 years who have previously received an SMN2 targeting therapy as part of a clinical study. We are in conversations with Health Authorities to broaden the inclusion criteria and increase the number of participants in JEWELFISH to include those who:

  • received nusinersen as part of their regular medical care for SMA
  • have SMA Type I
  • are 6 months of age or older. 

Further plans for JEWELFISH include eligibility for people who are still actively taking part in the OLEOS study (olesoxime long term safety and effiacacy study). These updates to JEWELFISH will be made subject to approval by Health Authorities and Ethics Committees. 

You can read more about all of these studies on

Our journey to develop safe and effective treatment for people with SMA continues to be inspired by you. We are working with urgency, care and in partnership with the SMA community to advance our clinical studies. 

We look forward to providing you with more updates on the risdiplam program. 

Kind regards, 

J.P. Sacksteder
U.S. Advocacy Relations, on behalf of the Genentech and Roche SMA team

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