#ACTRIMS2018 – Prior Therapies Don’t Affect Gilenya’s Benefits, Study Shows

Alice Melão, MSc avatar

by Alice Melão, MSc |

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Changing from injectable disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) to Gilenya (fingolimod) can benefit people with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), regardless of prior therapy regimens.

The PREFERMS Phase 4 trial (NCT01623596) concluded that Gilenya, marketed by Novartis, reduces annualized relapse rates (ARR) and brain volume loss (BVL) in both previously treated MS patients and those who never received other drugs.

These findings were the subject of a poster, “Satisfaction and Efficacy Outcomes When Switching from Injectable Disease-Modifying Therapies to Fingolimod in PREFERMS: Effect of Previous Treatment.” It was presented at the 3rd Annual Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2018, which took place Feb. 1-3 in San Diego.

The PREFERMS trial included 875 relapsing MS patients, of whom 471 had not been treated before and 404 had already received one prior therapy, including Copaxone (glatiramer acetate), Rebif (interferon β-1a) or Extavia (interferon β-1b). Patients were randomly given 0.5 mg Gilenya per day or a DMT, and were followed for 12 months.

After one year, 58.1 percent of those on DMTs switched to Gilenya. Of that group, 39 percent had never received previous MS treatments and 61 percent had been previously treated. Meanwhile, only 6.2 percent of Gilenya-treated patients later switched to a DMT.

The researchers found that ARR, BVL and patient satisfaction all improved significantly upon switching to Gilenya.

Overall, ARR fell after switching to Gilenya. The BVL rate was also higher in MS patients before switching to Gilenya than after switching, regardless of previous treatment status. This further confirms that changing from DMTs to Gilenya is safe and beneficial for relapsing MS patients — and that prior lines of therapy have no bearing on Gilenya’s therapeutic effects.

“Switching from iDMT [injectable DMT] to fingolimod [Gilenya] tended to be associated with improvements in ARR, BVL and treatment satisfaction,” researchers said. “The benefit of these switches was observed regardless of previous treatment status.”

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