SAN DIEGO – A pair of phase 3 studies offer promising results regarding the safety and efficacy of ozanimod, an experimental immunomodulator, in the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS).
The medication targets sphingosine 1-phosphate 1 and 5 receptors. Industry-funded researchers tested it in two studies against interferon beta-1a.
One study, called, tested once-daily oral ozanimod (1 mg or 0.5 mg with 7-day dose escalation) against interferon beta-1a (via 30 mcg weekly intramuscular injection) for at least 12 months in 1,346 patients with RMS. The annualized relapse rate, the primary endpoint, was lower in the ozanimod groups versus interferon. For the 1-mg dose, it was 0.181 (P less than .0001), and for 0.5-mg dose, 0.241 (P = .0013).
The number of serious treatment-emergent adverse events in the three groups was low, ranging from 2.5% to 3.5%.
The other study, called, was a similar trial that lasted 24 months. In it, the rate of serious treatment-emergent adverse events in the three groups were similar, ranging from 6.4% to 7.1%.
Ozanimod offers “an excellent therapeutic benefit for patients and a very clean safety profile,” said Bruce Cree, MD, PhD, clinical research director at the University of California, San Francisco, Multiple Sclerosis Center. He is an author on both studies and spoke in aat ACTRIMS Forum 2018, held by the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.
He said the ozanimod should be especially useful as a first-line treatment for MS. The drug is currently being evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration for an RMS indication, and it is also being developed for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, he said.
The study was funded by Receptos, a wholly owned subsidiary of Celgene. Dr. Cree reported that he has been a consultant to AbbVie, Biogen, EMD Serono, Genzyme, Novartis, and Shire.
SOURCE: Cree B et al. ACTRIMS Forum 2018, , and Comi G et al. ACTRIMS Forum 2018,