The Food and Drug Administration has granted Roche a label extension for Evrysdi (risdiplam) to include babies under two months old with spinal muscular atrophy.
SMA is a severe, progressive neuromuscular disease that can be fatal. It affects approximately one in 10,000 babies and is the leading genetic cause of infant mortality. SMA is caused by a mutation of the survival motor neuron 1 gene, which leads to a deficiency of SMN protein. This protein is found throughout the body and is essential to the function of nerves that control muscles and movement. Without it, nerve cells cannot function correctly, leading to muscle weakness over time. Depending on the type of SMA, an individual’s physical strength and their ability to walk, eat or breathe can be significantly diminished or lost.
“The approval of Evrysdi for pre-symptomatic babies is particularly important, as early treatment of SMA, before symptoms start to arise, can help babies to achieve motor milestones,” said Richard Finkel, Rainbowfish principal investigator and director of the Experimental Neuroscience Program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “With the inclusion of SMA in newborn screening programs, this approval provides the opportunity to start treating at home with Evrysdi soon after the diagnosis is confirmed.”
“The priority review and subsequent approval of Evrysdi for babies under two months of age speaks to the urgent ongoing need for additional treatment options for babies with SMA,” said Levi Garraway, Roche’s chief medical officer and head of global product development. “Because of its efficacy in multiple settings, Evrysdi is now available for people with SMA from pre-symptomatic newborns to older adults. We are proud of this achievement, which has the potential to make a real difference to those living with SMA and their caregivers.”
Evrysdi is a survival motor neuron 2 splicing modifier designed to treat SMA caused by mutations in chromosome 5q that lead to SMN protein deficiency. Evrysdi is administered daily at home in liquid form by mouth or by feeding tube.