The European Alliance for Newborn Screening in Spinal Muscular Atrophy demands that by 2025, newborn screening programmes in all European countries include a test for spinal muscular atrophy for all newborn children.

In order to bring about this vision, SMA Europe establishes the European Alliance for SMA Newborn Screening to bring together all the stakeholders who share the above Vision and are willing to work together towards making it a reality.

The overarching objective of this cooperation is to decrease the time it takes for a child born with spinal muscular atrophy to be diagnosed, and to assist patient advocacy groups in their efforts to accelerate the identification of such children, given that early diagnosis and treatment of spinal muscular atrophy leads to better outcomes.

In order to achieve its aim, the Alliance will undertake a variety of activities, including but not limited to producing a Whitepaper on SMA newborn screening.

The activities of the Alliance will be developed as the work progresses and will always be based on science and aimed at ensuring the best interest of the patient.


Any party that has a legal representation in Europe and a justified interest in the aforementioned aims may become a member of the SMA Europe NBS Alliance, contingent on an approval granted by SMA Europe.

In particular, members may include patient organisations, learned societies, academic institutions, academic networks, public and private health insurance providers, public bodies, not-for-profit organisations active in the field of healthcare or patient support, and pharmaceutical and medical technology companies.

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Photo: Christopher Hargoues / AFM-Téléthon

The Alliance carries out activities in accordance
with the following principles:

This cooperation is entirely unrelated to any treatments, drugs, or products intended to be used by spinal muscular atrophy patients or their caregivers. Members are expected to uphold the highest ethical standards and should immediately disclose any conflicts of interest that may arise.

Members work in the spirit of trust and mutual respect to ensure credibility, transparency, and independence both of SMA Europe and of each Member. This includes in particular respectful communication with all other Members including in case of disagreements. In all materials produced by the Alliance, respect for the personal dignity of people living with SMA and their families will be the highest principle.

Read the full NBS Alliance Charter

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About SMA Europe

The Founding Member of the SMA NBS Alliance, SMA Europe is an organisation that brings together 23 patient and research organisations focused on spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) from 22 countries across Europe.

SMA NBS Alliance Steering Committee

The Alliance is governed by a Steering Committee made up of a Chairperson,  patient advocates, academics, and support from a Secretariat. The main responsibilities of the Steering Committee are to approve Action Plan and support the Alliance’s activities during quarterly Steering Committee Meetings.

Current members

(Chair) Marie-Christine Ouillade
Patient advocate affiliated with AFM Téléthon and SMA Europe

Dr Eduardo Tizzano
Specialist in paediatrics and medical genetics at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

Gulcin Gumus (PhD)
Research & Policy Project Manager at EURORDIS

Jana Popova
Patient advocate affiliated with EAMDA and European Patients’ Forum

Kacper Rucinski
Patient advocate affiliated with SMA Foundation Poland and SMA Europe

Special expert advisors to the Steering Committee

Dr Raquel Yahyaoui Macías
Newborn screening expert and clinical biochemist from Spain

Cornelis Boersma
CEO and Founder at Health-Ecore | Professor, Sustainable Health and Innovation, Open University | Co-Founder, Digital Health Link | Co-Founder, SensUR Health | UMCG-University of Groningen

Maarten Postma

Maarten Postma
Professor in Pharmacoeconomics at the University of Groningen (Netherlands), Department of Pharmacy, Unit of PharmacoEpidemiology & PharmacoEconomics. Next to teaching, he coordinates the research of a group of Ph.D. students, one post-doc, and MSc students.