Comparison of fingolimod with interferon beta-1a in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: A randomised extension of the TRANSFORMS study

Bhupendra Khatri, Frederik Barkhof, Giancarlo Comi, Hans Peter Hartung, Ludwig Kappos, Xavier Montalban, Jean Pelletier, Tracy Stites, Stacy Wu, Fred Holdbrook, Lixin Zhang-Auberson, Gordon Francis, Jeffrey A. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In a 12-month phase 3 study in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), TRANSFORMS, fingolimod showed greater efficacy on relapse rates and MRI outcomes compared with interferon beta-1a. We had two aims in our extension: to compare year 2 with year 1 in the switched patients to assess the effect of a change from interferon beta-1a to fingolimod, and to compare over 24 months the treatment groups as originally randomised to assess the effect of delaying the start of treatment with fingolimod. Methods: Patients randomly assigned to receive 0·5 mg or 1·25 mg daily oral fingolimod in the core study continued with the same treatment in our extension; patients who originally received 30 μg weekly intramuscular interferon beta-1a were randomly reassigned (1:1) to receive either 0·5 mg or 1·25 mg fingolimod. The initial randomisation and dose of fingolimod assigned for the extension remained masked to the patients and investigators. As in the core study, re-randomisation was done centrally in blocks of six and stratified according to site. Our efficacy endpoints were annualised relapse rate (ARR), disability progression, and MRI outcomes. Our within-group analyses were based on the intention-to-treat and safety populations that entered our extension study. Our between-group analyses were based on the intention-to-treat and safety populations from the core study. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00340834. Findings: 1027 patients entered our extension and received the study drug, and 882 completed 24 months of treatment. Patients receiving continuous fingolimod showed persistent benefits in ARR (0·5 mg fingolimod [n=356], 0·12 [95% CI 0·08-0·17] in months 0-12 vs 0·11 [0·08-0·16] in months 13-24; 1·25 mg fingolimod [n=330], 0·15 [0·10-0·21] vs 0·11 [0·08-0·16]; however, in patients who initially received interferon beta-1a, ARR was lower after switching to fingolimod compared with the previous 12 months (interferon beta-1a to 0·5 mg fingolimod [n=167], 0·31 [95% CI 0·22-0·43] in months 0-12 vs 0·22 [0·15-0·31], in months 13-24 p=0·049; interferon beta-1a to 1·25 mg fingolimod [n=174], 0·29 [0·20-0·40] vs 0·18 [0·12-0·27], p=0·024). After switching to fingolimod, numbers of new or newly enlarging T2 and gadolinium (Gd)-enhancing T1 lesions were significantly reduced compared with the previous 12 months of interferon beta-1a therapy (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-529
Number of pages10
JournalThe Lancet Neurology
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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