The New England Journal of Medicine Publishes Pivotal


  • Publication consists of the Phase 3 VALOR SOD1-ALS trial and its open-label-extension research, underscoring the significance of these longer-term information
  • 12-month information present earlier initiation of tofersen slowed decline throughout essential measures of operate and power in folks identified with SOD1-ALS
  • Results provide necessary learnings relating to the biology of SOD1-ALS and design of ALS medical trials

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Biogen Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) as we speak introduced that The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has printed detailed outcomes from the Phase 3 VALOR research and the mixed evaluation of VALOR and its open label extension (OLE) research evaluating tofersen for the remedy of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). There is at the moment no remedy focused for SOD1-ALS.

“I see three key take home points from these data. First, tofersen clearly leads to lowering of SOD1 protein, as would be expected. Second there is substantial lowering of neurofilament levels, which I interpret as potentially slowing the underlying disease process. And third, there is a meaningful clinical benefit when looking at the later time points in the open label extension,” mentioned Timothy Miller, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator of VALOR and ALS Center co-Director at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. “We are grateful to the dedication from participants, their families, and the sites for taking part in this important study.”

Data from the mixed evaluation have been beforehand offered on the European Network to Cure ALS (ENCALS) annual assembly and included inside Biogen’s New Drug Application for tofersen that was lately accepted for precedence evaluation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The utility was given a Prescription Drug User Fee Act motion date of January 25, 2023. 

“The ALS community has been actively pursuing new medicines for decades. To have data like these published in NEJM gives us energy and hope. We are now seeing in the data what we suspected about tofersen for a long time – that it has the potential to make a clinical difference for people living with SOD1-ALS,” mentioned Merit Cudkowicz, M.D., co-principal investigator of the VALOR trial and co-founder of the Northeast ALS Consortium, Director of the Healey & AMG Center for ALS and Chair of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Julieanne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. “The lowering of neurofilament, a marker of axonal injury and neurodegeneration along with the clinical data, highlights the potential of tofersen.”

About VALOR and the OLE
VALOR was a six-month Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled research to guage the results of tofersen 100 mg in adults with ALS related to a SOD1 mutation. In complete, 108 individuals have been randomized in VALOR (n=72 to tofersen 100 mg and n=36 to placebo). Of these individuals, 95 enrolled within the ongoing OLE. At the time of the evaluation all individuals had a chance for no less than 12 months of follow-up, with a median publicity to tofersen of roughly 20 months (vary: 1 – 34 months).

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The main endpoint of VALOR was change from baseline to week 28 in ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R) complete rating. Secondary endpoints included adjustments in complete cerebrospinal fluid SOD1 protein focus, plasma neurofilament gentle chain (NfL), gradual very important capability and handheld dynamometry in 16 muscle tissues.

As beforehand reported in October 2021, VALOR didn’t meet the first endpoint. However, developments of diminished illness development throughout a number of secondary and exploratory endpoints have been noticed. The mixed VALOR and OLE 12-month information, by which the medical analyses adjusted for neurofilament ranges as a marker of the illness development fee at baseline, confirmed sustained reductions in SOD1 protein (a marker of goal engagement) and neurofilament (a marker of neurodegeneration) and slowed decline in medical operate, respiratory operate, power, and high quality of life with earlier initiation of tofersen.

In the 12-month information, the most typical antagonistic occasions (AEs) in individuals receiving tofersen in VALOR and the OLE research have been procedural ache, headache, ache within the arms or legs, falls, and again ache. Most AEs in each VALOR and the OLE have been gentle to average in severity. Serious neurologic occasions together with myelitis, chemical or aseptic meningitis, radiculitis, elevated intracranial stress and papilledema, have been reported in 6.7 % of individuals receiving tofersen in VALOR and its OLE.

About Tofersen
Tofersen is an antisense drug being evaluated for the potential remedy of SOD1-ALS. Tofersen binds and degrades SOD1 mRNA to scale back synthesis of SOD1 protein manufacturing. In addition to the continuing open label extension of VALOR, tofersen is being studied within the Phase 3 ATLAS research designed to guage whether or not tofersen can delay medical onset when initiated in presymptomatic people with a SOD1 genetic mutation and biomarker proof of illness exercise. Biogen licensed tofersen from Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. underneath a collaborative improvement and license settlement.

About Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and SOD1-ALS
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a uncommon, progressive and deadly neurodegenerative illness that ends in the loss of motor neurons within the mind and the spinal twine which are answerable for controlling voluntary muscle motion. People with ALS expertise muscle weak spot and atrophy, inflicting them to lose independence as they steadily lose the power to maneuver, communicate, eat, and ultimately breathe. Average life expectancy for folks with ALS is three to 5 years from time of symptom onset.1

Multiple genes have been implicated in ALS. Genetic testing helps decide if an individual’s ALS is related to a genetic mutation, even in people with no household historical past of the illness. Currently, there are not any genetically focused remedy choices for ALS. Mutations within the SOD1 gene are answerable for roughly 2 % of the estimated 168,000 individuals who have ALS globally (SOD1-ALS).2 Life expectancy in SOD1-ALS varies extensively with some sufferers surviving lower than a yr.3

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Biogen’s Continuous Commitment to ALS
For over a decade, Biogen has been dedicated to advancing ALS analysis to offer a deeper understanding of all varieties of the illness. The firm has continued to put money into and pioneer analysis regardless of making the troublesome determination to discontinue a late-stage ALS asset in 2013. Biogen has utilized necessary learnings to its portfolio of property for genetic and different varieties of ALS, with the aim of growing the chance of bringing a possible remedy to sufferers in want. These utilized learnings embrace evaluating genetically validated targets in outlined affected person populations, pursuing probably the most acceptable modality for every goal and using delicate medical endpoints. Today, the corporate has a pipeline of investigational medication being evaluated in ALS, together with tofersen and BIIB105.

About Biogen
As pioneers in neuroscience, Biogen discovers, develops, and delivers worldwide modern therapies for folks residing with severe neurological illnesses in addition to associated therapeutic adjacencies. One of the world’s first world biotechnology firms, Biogen was based in 1978 by Charles Weissmann, Heinz Schaller, Sir Kenneth Murray, and Nobel Prize winners Walter Gilbert and Phillip Sharp. Today, Biogen has a number one portfolio of medicines to deal with a number of sclerosis, has launched the primary accredited remedy for spinal muscular atrophy, and developed the primary and solely accredited remedy to deal with a defining pathology of Alzheimer’s illness. Biogen can also be commercializing biosimilars and specializing in advancing one of the trade’s most diversified pipelines in neuroscience that may rework the usual of look after sufferers in a number of areas of excessive unmet want.

In 2020, Biogen launched a daring 20-year, $250 million initiative to deal with the deeply interrelated points of local weather, well being, and fairness. Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives™ goals to remove fossil fuels throughout the corporate’s operations, construct collaborations with famend establishments to advance the science to enhance human well being outcomes, and assist underserved communities.

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Biogen Safe Harbor
This information launch incorporates forward-looking statements, together with statements made pursuant to the secure harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, together with statements about outcomes from the Phase 3 VALOR research of tofersen or its OLE; the potential medical results of tofersen; the potential advantages, security and efficacy of tofersen; the medical improvement program for tofersen; the potential approval of tofersen; the identification and remedy of ALS; our analysis and improvement program for the remedy of ALS; the potential of our industrial business and pipeline packages, together with tofersen; and dangers and uncertainties related to drug improvement and commercialization. These forward-looking statements could also be accompanied by phrases reminiscent of “aim,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “possible,” “will,” “would” and different phrases and phrases of related which means. Drug improvement and commercialization contain a excessive diploma of threat and solely a small quantity of analysis and improvement packages lead to commercialization of a product. Results in early stage medical trials might not be indicative of full outcomes or outcomes from later stage or bigger scale medical trials and don’t guarantee regulatory approval. You shouldn’t place undue reliance on these statements or the scientific information offered.


These statements contain dangers and uncertainties that might trigger precise outcomes to vary materially from these mirrored in such statements, together with with out limitation, uncertainty of success within the improvement and potential commercialization of tofersen; the danger that we might not absolutely enroll our medical trials or enrollment will take longer than anticipated; sudden issues might come up from further information, evaluation or outcomes obtained throughout our medical trials; regulatory authorities might require further data or additional research, or might fail or refuse to approve or might delay approval of our drug candidates, together with tofersen; the prevalence of antagonistic security occasions; the dangers of sudden hurdles, prices or delays; failure to guard and implement our information, mental property and different proprietary rights and uncertainties regarding mental property claims and challenges; product legal responsibility claims; and the direct and oblique impacts of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic on our business, outcomes of operations and monetary situation. The foregoing units forth many, however not all, of the components that might trigger precise outcomes to vary from our expectations in any forward-looking assertion. Investors ought to think about this cautionary assertion, in addition to the danger components recognized in our most up-to-date annual or quarterly report and in different experiences we now have filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These statements are primarily based on our present beliefs and expectations and communicate solely as of the date of this information launch.

We don’t undertake any obligation to publicly replace any forward-looking statements, whether or not in consequence of new data, future developments or in any other case.


  1. Brown RH, Al-Chalabi A. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. N Engl J Med. 2017 Jul 13.
  2. Brown CA, Lally C, Kupelian V, Flanders WD. Estimated Prevalence and Incidence of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and SOD1 and C9orf72 Genetic Variants. Neuroepidemiology. 2021.
  3. Brown CA, Lally C, Kupelian V, Flanders WD. Estimated Prevalence and Incidence of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and SOD1 and C9orf72 Genetic Variants. Neuroepidemiology. 2021.

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