[Pharmacological and clinical profile of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) therapeutic drug nusinersen (Spinraza®)].Nihon Yakurigaku Zasshi 2018; 152(3):147-159NY
Nusinersen (Spinraza®) was approved as Japan's first antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) drug for treatment of SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) patients with a deletion or mutation of the survival motor neuron (SMN) 1 gene and ≥1 copy of the SMN2 gene. Nuseinersen is a fully modified 2'-O-(2-methoxyethyl) (2'-MOE) ASO designed to bind the SMN2 pre-mRNA and alter splicing, such that a mature mRNA is produced and is translated as full-length SMN protein. In 4 types of mouse SMA disease models, treatment with nusinersen improved the form of the neuromuscular junction, increased myofiber size, improved righting reflex and grip, and prolonged survival. The efficacy of nusinersen was verified in 2 multinational, randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled clinical studies in SMA patients with differing ages of onset and ages (ENDEAR study and CHERISH study), and improvement and maintenance of motor function by nusinersen were demonstrated regardless of the type of SMA. Moreover, both studies showed that greater efficacy may be obtained with early initiation of nusinersen treatment. Therefore, treatment with nusinersen should be started as early as possible to delay or halt progression of the disease and maximize therapeutic effect. As nusinersen is the only ASO currently available for SMA, it will be widely used, therefore we will expect that nusinersen will contribute to improve patients' QOL and reduce the burden of caregivers and the healthcare system by improving motor function of patients with SMA.