Survival, Motor Function, and Motor Milestones: Comparison of AVXS-101 Relative to Nusinersen for the Treatment of Infants with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1

Advances in Therapy, 2019


Infants with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 1 typically face a decline in motor function and a severely shortened life expectancy. Clinical trials for SMA type 1 therapies, onasemnogene abeparvovec (AVXS-101) and nusinersen, demonstrated meaningful improvements in efficacy (e.g., overall survival) but there were no head-to-head clinical trials assessing comparative efficacy. This study estimated the treatment effects of AVXS-101 relative to nusinersen for the treatment of SMA type 1.


Overall survival, event-free survival (no death or need to use permanent assisted ventilation), improvement in motor function [increase of ≥ 4 points in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Infant Test of Neuromuscular Disorders (CHOP-INTEND) score from baseline], and motor milestone achievements (head control, rolling over, and sitting unassisted) reported in the onasemnogene abeparvovec (AVXS-101-CL-101; NCT02122952) and nusinersen (ENDEAR; NCT02193074) clinical trials were indirectly compared using frequentist and Bayesian approaches.


Among symptomatic infants with SMA type 1, the number needed to treat (NNT) to prevent one more death with AVXS-101 instead of nusinersen was 6.2 [95% confidence intervals (CI) = 4.1-12.2], and the probability of preventing death was 20% higher for patients treated with AVXS-101 than nusinersen [risk ratio (RR) = 1.2, 95% CI 1.1-1.3]. For event-free survival, the NNT to prevent one more event was 2.6 (95% CI 2.0-3.6) and RR was 1.6 (95% CI 1.4-1.9). For improvement in motor function, NNT was 3.5 (95% CI 2.6-5.3) and RR was 1.4 (95% CI 1.2-1.6). For milestone achievements, the NNTs were 1.4 (95% CI 1.1-1.9), 1.5 (95% CI 1.1-2.5), and 1.2 (95% CI 1.0-1.5); RRs 4.2 (95% CI 2.6-6.7), 7.8 (95% CI 3.6-17.0), and 11.2 (95% CI 5.1-24.5) for head control, rolling over, and sitting unassisted, respectively. Results were similar using the Bayesian approach.


This indirect comparison (AVXS-101-CL-101 vs. ENDEAR) among symptomatic SMA type 1 infants suggests that AVXS-101 may have an efficacy advantage relative to nusinersen for overall survival, independence from permanent assisted ventilation, motor function, and motor milestones.

View abstract


Dabbous O, Maru B, Jansen JP, Lorenzi M, Cloutier M, Guérin A, Pivneva I, Wu EQ, Arjunji R, Feltner D, Sproule DM