Conference Coverage

Durable Improvements in Clinical Outcomes With Alemtuzumab: Seven-Year Follow-Up

Results of the TOPAZ study highlight seven-year outcomes of patients in the CARE-MS II study of alemtuzumab.


PARIS—Clinical efficacy of alemtuzumab was maintained for seven years in patients who had inadequate response to prior therapy, despite 47% receiving no additional treatment since the initial two courses of alemtuzumab, according to study data presented at the Seventh Joint ECTRIMS–ACTRIMS Meeting. In addition, 44% of patients showed improvement in disability, researchers reported. “These findings suggest that alemtuzumab may provide a unique treatment approach for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), offering durable efficacy in the absence of continuous treatment,” said Barry Singer, MD, Director of the MS Center for Innovations in Care at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis.

Barry Singer, MD

Alemtuzumab Treatment Then

In the CARE-MS II trial, alemtuzumab significantly improved clinical outcomes, compared with subcutaneous interferon beta-1a, over two years in patients with active RRMS and an inadequate response to prior therapy. Durable efficacy of alemtuzumab was demonstrated over six years in a completed extension study in the absence of continuous treatment. Patients in the CARE-MS II study received two courses of alemtuzumab 12 mg/day (five days of therapy at baseline and three days of therapy 12 months later). In the extension study, patients could receive as-needed alemtuzumab retreatment (12 mg/day on three consecutive days at least 12 months after a previous course for relapse or MRI activity) or other disease-modifying therapy per investigator discretion. Patients completing at least 48 months of the extension could enroll in the five-year TOPAZ study for further long-term evaluation.

Alemtuzumab Treatment Now

The goal of the TOPAZ study was to evaluate the seven-year efficacy and safety of alemtuzumab in patients with RRMS who received alemtuzumab in the CARE-MS II trial. In TOPAZ, patients could receive alemtuzumab retreatment 12 months or more after a previous course or other disease-modifying therapy at any time point (both per investigator discretion). MRI scans were performed annually. Annualized relapse rate, six-month confirmed disability worsening, six-month confirmed disability improvement, no evidence of disease activity (NEDA), and adverse events were analyzed in TOPAZ.

In total, 338 of 393 (86%) CARE-MS II patients who entered the extension remained in the study until the end of year six and then entered TOPAZ; 317 (94%) remained in the study through year seven. Annualized relapse rate remained low (0.14 at year seven), and the proportion of patients with stable or improved Expanded Disability Status Scale score remained high (73% at year seven). Through year seven, 69% of patients were free from six-month confirmed disability worsening, 44% achieved six-month confirmed disability improvement, and the majority achieved NEDA each year. These effects were achieved with 47% of patients receiving no additional treatment (alemtuzumab or other disease-modifying treatment) after their initial two courses of alemtuzumab. Incidences of overall adverse events, infusion-associated reactions, and infections decreased over time and were reduced, compared with those in the two-year core study. The incidence of thyroid adverse events incidence peaked at year three and then declined.

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