SEC Filings

10-K
AVEXIS, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018
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selection for all future clinical trials, including clinical trials to be conducted in the European Union. The regulatory approval process for novel product candidates such as ours is unclear and can be more expensive and take longer than for other, better known or more extensively studied product candidates. To our knowledge, only three gene therapy products, Novartis’ Kymriah, Gilead Sciences’ Yescarta and Spark Therapeutics’ Luxturna, have received approval from the FDA and two gene therapy products, uniQure N.V.’s Glybera and GlaxoSmithKline’s Strimvelis, have received marketing authorization from the European Commission; however, uniQure announced that it does not plan to renew the marketing authorization for Glybera in Europe. As a result, it is difficult to determine how long it will take or how much it will cost to obtain regulatory approvals for AVXS‑101 in either the United States or the European Union or how long it will take to commercialize our product candidate. Approvals by the FDA may not be indicative of what the European Commission may require for approval and vice versa.

Regulatory requirements governing gene and cell therapy products have changed frequently and may continue to change in the future. The FDA has established the Office of Tissue and Advanced Therapies within its Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, or CBER, to consolidate the review of gene therapy and related products, and has established the Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee to advise CBER in its review. Gene therapy clinical trials conducted at institutions that receive funding for recombinant DNA research from the United States National Institutes of Health, or the NIH, also are potentially subject to review by the NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities’ Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, or the RAC; however, the NIH announced that the RAC will only publicly review clinical trials if the trials cannot be evaluated by standard oversight bodies and pose unusual risks. Although the FDA decides whether individual gene therapy protocols may proceed, the RAC public review process, if undertaken, can delay the initiation of a clinical trial, even if the FDA has reviewed the trial design and details and approved its initiation. Conversely, the FDA can put an IND on a clinical hold even if the RAC has provided a favorable review or an exemption from in‑depth, public review. If we were to engage an NIH‑funded institution to conduct a clinical trial, that institution’s institutional biosafety committee as well as its institutional review board, or IRB, would need to review the proposed clinical trial to assess the safety of the trial. In addition, adverse developments in clinical trials of gene therapy products conducted by others may cause the FDA or other oversight bodies to change the requirements for approval of our product candidate. Similarly, the EMA may issue new guidelines concerning the development and marketing authorization for gene therapy medicinal products and require that we comply with these new guidelines.

These regulatory review committees and advisory groups and the new guidelines they promulgate may lengthen the regulatory review process, require us to perform additional studies, increase our development costs, lead to changes in regulatory positions and interpretations, delay or prevent approval and commercialization of AVXS‑101 or future product candidates or lead to significant post‑approval limitations or restrictions. As we advance AVXS‑101, we will be required to consult with these regulatory and advisory groups, and comply with applicable guidelines. If we fail to do so, we may be required to delay or discontinue development of AVXS‑101. These additional processes may result in a review and approval process that is longer than we otherwise would have expected. Delay or failure to obtain, or unexpected costs in obtaining, the regulatory approval necessary to bring a potential product to market could decrease our ability to generate sufficient product revenue, and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects would be materially and adversely affected.

Breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA and access to Priority Medicines, or PRIME, by the EMA may not lead to a faster development, regulatory review or approval process for AVXS-101, and it does not increase the likelihood that any of our product candidates will receive marketing approval in the United States and Europe, respectively.

We have received breakthrough therapy designation for AVXS‑101 for the treatment of SMA Type 1 in pediatric patients, and may, in the future, apply for breakthrough therapy designation for other product candidates in the United States. A breakthrough therapy product candidate is defined as a product candidate that is intended, alone or in combination with one or more other drugs, to treat a serious or life‑threatening disease or condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that such product candidate may demonstrate substantial improvement on one or more clinically significant endpoints over existing therapies. The FDA will seek to ensure the sponsor of a breakthrough therapy product candidate receives: (i) intensive guidance on an efficient drug development program; (ii) intensive involvement of senior managers and experienced staff on a proactive, collaborative and cross‑disciplinary review; and

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