Filings Soon As Biogen Snaps Up Ionis' Antisense Treatment
Promising top-line Phase III data have prompted Biogen to exercise an option to develop and commercialize Ionis's novel antisense treatment nusinersen for infantile-onset spinal muscular atrophy; filings are due shortly.
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Biogen said some spinal muscular atrophy patients are currently being treated with Spinraza after receiving the Novartis gene therapy – its main competitor – so it will start a study of the risk/benefit in 2021.
Analysts expect strong uptake for the antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) given the high unmet need in SMA and positive data in multiple studies, while the first ASO approved this year – Sarepta’s Exondys 51 – has seen some pushback from payers despite the lack of DMD therapies.
Both companies’ stocks surged Nov. 7 on positive data from a second Phase III trial showing the antisense drug improved motor function in children with later onset spinal muscular atrophy.