#AAN2018 — Lemtrada Sustains Long-Term Benefits for RRMS Patients, TOPAZ Study Shows

Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) can sustain reduced activity and prevent progression of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) for more than seven years, clinical data from the CARE-MS extension trial shows. Findings were recently presented in four poster presentations at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Los Angeles. Lemtrada, marketed by Sanofi Genzyme, is an approved MS therapy that, according to its label, should generally be reserved for patients who have had an inadequate response to two or more other therapies. But the use of the word "generally" opens a window of opportunity “to use Lemtrada as a second-line therapy and potentially first-line therapy,” Barry Singer, MD, director of the MS Center for Innovations in Care at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, said in an email response to questions from Multiple Sclerosis News Today. The treatment was initially tested in two pivotal clinical trials in comparison with a high-dose under-the-skin injection of Rebif (interferon beta-1a) in RRMS patients. Participants were either new to treatment (CARE-MS I, NCT00530348) or had not responded to prior therapies (CARE-MS II, NCT00548405). During these trials, patients received 12 mg of Lemtrada for three or five consecutive days in two annual courses — at the beginning of the study and again one year later. After completing this treatment period, they had the opportunity to participate in a four-year extension study (NCT00930553) during which they could receive the therapy as needed to control their disease. Patients completing the extension could enroll in the five-year TOPAZ trial (NCT02255656) for further evaluation. To date, 80% of the participants (299 patients) from CARE-MS I and 73% from CARE-MS II (317 patients) have completed seven years of long-term follow-up. After completing two initial courses of Lemtrada, 59% of patients from CARE-MS I and 47% from CARE-MS II did not require additional treatment courses with Lemtrada or other disease-modifying therapies during the next six years. Two-thirds of  CARE-MS II patients who required a third Lemtrada course also experienced disability stabilization one year after the last treatment. During the seven years of follow-up, reported annualized relapse rates remained low, and 37% of patients from CARE-MS 1 and 44% from CARE-MS II experienced confirmed improvements in disability. In fact, during this period, only 26% from CARE-MS 1 and 31% from CARE-MS II showed disability worsening. The treatment also had a sustained effect on slowing brain volume loss by the seventh year, with a median yearly brain volume loss of 0.20% or less from the third to seventh year. This effect was found to be even better than that reported during the initial two years of treatment in the pivotal studies (0.59% in the first year and 0.25% in the second year in CARE-MS I, and 0.48% in year one and 0.22% in year two in CARE-MS II). Additionally, evaluation by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed no signs of disease activity during the seven years of follow-up. “The extension study data being presented at AAN illustrate that more than two-thirds of patients did not experience confirmed disability worsening at year seven after initiating treatment with Lemtrada,” Singer said in a press release. “In addition, consistent effects were maintained over time across relapses and MRI outcomes including brain volume loss, even though the majority of patients did not receive any additional treatment over the prior six years.” During the extension studies, the frequency of adverse events was similar to that reported during the pivotal studies. In seven years, three deaths occurred, none of which was considered to be treatment-related. Thyroid adverse events were reported to be more frequent by the third year, but declined thereafter. As Singer noted, "the serious risks of Lemtrada, including serious infusion reactions, serious infections, thyroid disease, kidney disease, low platelets and potential malignancies, must always be discussed with the patient." All patients should also be carefully monitored on a monthly basis for four years after the last treatment course “to screen for autoimmune complications, including low platelet counts, thyroid disease, and kidney disease,” he said. Lemtrada’s long-term effects were shared at the AAN annual meeting in these presentations: “Active RRMS Patients Treated with Alemtuzumab Experience Durable Reductions in MRI Disease Activity and Slowing of Brain Volume Loss: 7-Year Follow-up of CARE-MS II Patients (TOPAZ Study)” “Durable Clinical Outcomes With Alemtuzumab in Patients With Active RRMS in the Absence of Continuous Treatment: 7-Year Follow-up of CARE-MS II Patients (TOPAZ Study)” “Durable Reduction in MRI Disease Activity and Slowing of Brain Volume Loss in Alemtuzumab-Treated Patients With Active RRMS: 7-Year Follow-up of CARE-MS I Patients (TOPAZ Study)” “Durable Clinical Efficacy of Alemtuzumab in Patients With Active RRMS in the Absence of Continuous Treatment: 7-Year Follow-up of CARE-MS I Patients (TOPAZ Study) Lemtrada is approved in more than 60 countries, and has additional marketing applications under review by regulatory authorities worldwide.

#ACTRIMS2018 – Third Course of Lemtrada Improves Relapse, Disability in MS Patients, CARE-MS II Trial Shows

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who experience a relapse after two courses of Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) treatment showed improvements in relapse rate and disability after a third Lemtrada course, according to results of the CARE-MS II trial extension. The poster reporting the findings, titled “Efficacy of Alemtuzumab Retreatment in Patients Who Experienced Disease Activity after…

Lemtrada Prevented Progression of Multiple Sclerosis for Five Years, Study Shows

Two short courses of Lemtrada prevented multiple sclerosis from becoming active and progressing for five years, a study reported. Lemtrada's maker, Sanofi-Genzyme, said the study covered the two-year CARE-MS II Phase 3 clinical trial (NCT00548405) and a long-term extension (NCT00930553) trial of people with relapsing-remitting MS. In addition to demonstrating Lemtrada's effectiveness, the study showed that it was safe, researchers said. The Phase 3 trial participants had had an active disease, with at least two relapses in the two years before the study and an inadequate response to earlier treatment. The trial compared Lemtrada's effectiveness with that of Rebif. The Lemtrada group received 12-mg doses for five consecutive days at the start of the study and three consecutive days a year later. Ninety-three percent of the 435 patients who completed the trial enrolled in the extension, which followed patients for another three years. Remarkably, 60 percent of patients required no additional treatment after the two years of the Phase 3 study. Among the 376 patients who required more treatment, 30 percent had one additional Lemtrada course, 10.4 percent had two, and 1.6 percent had three. A small proportion of patients also received other disease-modifying treatments. The most common reason for additional treatment was relapse. Nevertheless, Lemtrada reduced annualized relapse rates to only 0.18 of patients by the fifth year. In addition, during the five years, 75 percent of patients experienced no worsening of their disability over six-month cycles. And 49 percent of patients' disability improved. Researchers also tracked patients' scores on the NEDA — or No Evidence of Disease Activity — index. The composite measure takes into account relapses, disease activity detected in MRI scans, and disability progression. In year five, 58 percent of patients achieved NEDA, slightly more than the 53 percent in year three. Another important finding was that patients' loss of brain tissue slowed in the first two years, and dropped further during the extension. Researchers also noted that adverse events dropped during the extension trial. Ninety-six percent were mild or moderate, and no patient left the study because of side effects. The rate of infusion-associated reactions was lower in the extension study than in the Phase 3 study. Patients who did have a reaction most often experienced headache, fever, or rash. Infections did not become more common with accumulating Lemtrada doses and, again, were less common in the extension trial. Patients most often developed colds or urinary tract infections. Autoimmune reactions against the thyroid gland were relatively common, however. Thirty-eight percent of patients developed them over the five years. Most were moderate in severity. Four patients developed various types of cancers. Researchers also examined Lemtrada in the CARE-MS I clinical trial and its extension trial. They reported long-term outcomes and safety findings similar to those in the latest study. Overall, the newest results demonstrated that Lemtrada slowed disease progression over five years in relapsing-remitting MS patients who failed to respond to previous therapy.

Sanofi Genzyme Presenting New Data on Lemtrada’s Beneficial Effects, Drawn from RRMS Extension Study, at AAN 2016

Sanofi Genzyme is presenting promising data regarding brain volume and retinal nerve fibers in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients — drawn from an ongoing extension study into the disease-modifying drug alemtuzumab (Lemtrada) — at the 2016 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting  taking place in Vancouver, Canada, through April…