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FDA sets back Novartis plans to expand use of SMA gene therapy

September 23, 2020

Zolgensma’s approval was a notable milestone, making it both the second gene therapy approved in the U.S., and the second treatment for SMA, a potentially deadly disease for which no medicines existed until four years ago.

But it’s been a bumpy ride for Novartis since that 2019 approval. The FDA charged the company of manipulating preclinical data supporting its original application, a controversy that led Novartis to fire some top scientists and shake up its quality control operations. (The agency opted against sanctioning Novartis, however.)

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