with two copies of the SMN2 gene as determined by genetic testing, bi-allelic SMN1 gene deletion and no c.859G>C mutation in SMN2.
SMA is a severe neuromuscular disease characterized by the loss of motor neurons leading to progressive muscle weakness and paralysis. SMA is caused by a genetic defect in the SMN1 gene that codes SMN, a protein necessary for survival of motor neurons. The incidence of SMA is approximately one in 10,000 live births and is the leading genetic cause of infant mortality.
The most severe form of SMA is Type 1, a lethal genetic disorder characterized by motor neuron loss and associated muscle deterioration, which results in mortality or the need for permanent ventilation support before the age of two for greater than 90 percent of patients. SMA Type 2 typically presents between six and 18 months of age, and those affected will never walk without support and most will never stand without support. SMA Type 2 results in mortality in more than 30 percent of patients by the age of 25.
AVXS-101 is a proprietary gene therapy candidate of a one-time treatment for SMA Types 1 and 2, designed to address the monogenic root cause of SMA and prevent further muscle degeneration by addressing the defective and/or loss of the primary SMN gene. AVXS-101 is also designed to target motor neurons, providing rapid onset of effect and crossing the blood brain barrier to allow targeting of both central and systemic features.
About AveXis, Inc.
AveXis is a clinical-stage gene therapy company developing treatments for patients suffering from rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases. The companys initial proprietary gene therapy candidate, AVXS-101, is in the pivotal phase of study for the treatment of SMA Type 1, and a Phase 1 trial for SMA Type 2. The company also intends to expand its development of gene therapy into two additional rare neurological monogenic disorders: Rett syndrome (RTT) and a genetic form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene.
For additional information, please visit www.avexis.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding, among other things, AveXis continued enrollment of patients in the STR1VE trial, its research, development and regulatory plans for AVXS-101, and the planned expansion of the companys development of gene therapy into additional disorders. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in its forward-looking statements. Meaningful factors which could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to, the scope, progress, expansion, and costs of developing and commercializing AveXis product candidates; regulatory developments in the U.S. and EU, as well as other factors discussed in the Risk Factors and the Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations sections of AveXis Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, filed with the SEC on March 16, 2017, and AveXis Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, filed with the SEC on November 9, 2017. In addition to the risks described above and in the Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly