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AVEXIS, INC. filed this Form S-1 on 01/15/2016
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          We are a clinical-stage gene therapy company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel treatments for patients suffering from rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases. Our initial product candidate, AVXS-101, is our proprietary gene therapy product candidate currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, Type 1, the leading genetic cause of infant mortality. SMA Type 1 is a lethal genetic disorder characterized by motor neuron loss and associated muscle deterioration, resulting in mortality or the need for permanent ventilation support before the age of two for greater than 90% of patients. The survival motor neuron, or SMN, is a critical protein for normal motor neuron signaling and function. Patients with SMA Type 1 either carry a mutation in their SMN1 gene or their SMN1 genes have been deleted, which prevents them from producing adequate levels of functional SMN protein. AVXS-101 is designed to deliver a fully functional human SMN gene into the nuclei of motor neurons that then generates an increase in SMN protein levels. We believe this will result in improved motor neuron function and patient outcomes. In our ongoing, fully enrolled, Phase 1 clinical trial, we have treated 15 SMA Type 1 patients as of December 31, 2015, and have observed a favorable safety profile that is generally well-tolerated and have also observed compelling preliminary evidence of efficacy, including improved motor function. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has granted AVXS-101 orphan drug designation for the treatment of all types of SMA and fast track designation for the treatment of SMA Type 1. In addition to developing AVXS-101 to treat SMA Type 1, we plan to develop AVXS-101 to treat additional SMA types and develop other novel treatments for rare neurological genetic diseases.

          SMA is a severe neuromuscular disease characterized by the loss of motor neurons leading to progressive muscle weakness and paralysis. The incidence of SMA is approximately one in 10,000 live births. SMA is generally divided into sub-categories termed SMA Type 1, 2, 3 and 4. SMA, and the SMA sub-types, are diagnosed first by identifying the existence of a genetic defect in the SMN1 gene and then by determining the number of copies of the SMN2 backup gene, which correlates with disease onset and severity. If insufficient protein is expressed, muscles do not develop properly. Approximately 60% of SMA patients have Type 1, the most severe type of SMA, with observation of disease symptoms within six months of birth. Patients with SMA Type 1 have difficulty breathing and swallowing and will never develop the strength to sit up independently or the ability to crawl or walk. Patients with SMA Type 1 frequently die in early childhood due to complications related to respiratory failure resulting from motor neuron degeneration. We believe there is a significant unmet medical need for patients with SMA Type 1, as there are currently no treatments approved by the FDA for SMA. The current standard of care for patients with SMA is limited to palliative therapies, including life-long respiratory care, ventilator support, nutritional care, orthopedic care and physical therapy.

          We believe gene therapy is a therapeutic approach that is well-suited for the treatment of SMA due to the monogenic nature of the disease, meaning it is caused by mutations in a single gene. AVXS-101 is designed to possess the key elements of an optimal gene therapy approach to SMA: delivery of a fully functional human SMN gene into target motor neuron cells; production of sufficient levels of SMN protein required to improve motor neuron function; and rapid onset of effect in addition to sustained SMN expression. AVXS-101 utilizes a non-replicating adeno-associated virus, or AAV, capsid to deliver a functional copy of a human SMN gene to the patient's own cells without modifying the existing DNA of the patient. Unlike many other capsids, the AAV9 capsid utilized in AVXS-101 crosses the blood-brain barrier, a tight protective barrier which regulates the passage of substances between the bloodstream and the brain, thus allowing for intravenous administration. In addition, AAV9 has been observed in preclinical studies to efficiently target motor neuron cells when delivered via either intrathecal or intravenous administration. AVXS-101 has a


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