Buy a Shamrock, Grow Hope

It’s March, and at MDA that means only one thing: It’s Shamrocks season! Each St. Patrick’s Day season for the last 37 years, MDA has partnered with 20,000 retailers nationwide to raise a little green (more than $323 million, to be exact) both to send kids to MDA Summer Camp and to fund groundbreaking research . . .

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Strengthened by Spinraza, Marley Robinson is Tackling College — and Planning for More

Feb. 28 is Rare Disease Day, when the collective rare disease community raises awareness of the conditions with which we live and advocates for access to new novel treatments like Spinraza, the first FDA-approved disease-modifying drug for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare neuromuscular disease that affects people like 18-year-old Marley Robinson. Spinraza is making . . .

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Trexo Robotics Releases Trexo Home Walking Aid for Children

Joining a growing number of companies developing robotic devices for those living with mobility impairments, Ontario’s Trexo Robotics just launched the newest in its line of robotic walking aids specifically for children, the Trexo Home. Unlike the company’s Trexo Plus, a set of wearable robotic legs that attach to a walker for use in clinical . . .

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Arkansas to Screen Babies for SMA

This week, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law a bill, HB 1074, that requires the state to add spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to its newborn screening panel. SMA is the No. 1 genetic cause of death in infants, affecting approximately 1 in 10,000 babies. MDA was proud to advocate for the addition of SMA . . .

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FDA Accepts AveXis’ BLA for SMA Drug Zolgensma Under Priority Review

Today, Novartis, the parent company of AveXis Inc., announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the company’s Biologics License Application (BLA) under Priority Review for Zolgensma (formerly known as AVXS-101), a gene therapy for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 1. Priority Review status requires the FDA to review . . .

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AveXis Submits BLA for SMA Gene Therapy AVXS-101 to FDA

This week, AveXis, a Novartis company, reported that it has submitted a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting approval of AVXS-101 to treat infants with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 1. AveXis is also submitting regulatory applications for the therapy in Europe and Japan. If approved, AVXS-101 would . . .

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Genentech Announces New Data for Risdiplam in SMA

On Oct. 3, Genentech announced interim results from the dose-finding parts of the pivotal FIREFISH and SUNFISH studies investigating risdiplam (RG7916) in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Risdiplam is an investigational SMN2-splicing modifier that is given by mouth (or g-tube) and distributes widely throughout the body. Risdiplam is designed to help the SMN2 gene produce more . . .

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Assessing MDA’s 2018 SMA Research Landscape

This is an unprecedented time for patients living with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). It has now been almost two years since Spinraza became the first FDA-approved treatment for SMA, and in that time it’s proven to be a transformative therapy. Although there is much more work to be done, Spinraza has made a significant impact . . .

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SMA Added to National List of Disorders to Screen for at Birth

After significant collaborative work among many stakeholders in the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) community, we are pleased to share that the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Dr. Alex Azar, has accepted the recommendation to add SMA to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP) for newborns. This is a landmark decision for the SMA . . .

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