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Efficacy and safety of vamorolone in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: An 18-month interim analysis of a non-randomized open-label extension study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michela GuglieriORCiD

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Abstract

© 2020 Smith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Background Treatment with corticosteroids is recommended for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients to slow the progression of weakness. However, chronic corticosteroid treatment causes significant morbidities. Vamorolone is a first-in-class anti-inflammatory investigational drug that has shown evidence of efficacy in DMD after 24 weeks of treatment at 2.0 or 6.0 mg/kg/day. Here, open-label efficacy and safety experience of vamorolone was evaluated over a period of 18 months in trial participants with DMD. Methods and findings A multicenter, open-label, 24-week trial (VBP15-003) with a 24-month long-term extension (VBP15-LTE) was conducted by the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group (CINRG) and evaluated drug-related effects of vamorolone on motor outcomes and corticosteroid-associated safety concerns. The study was carried out in Canada, US, UK, Australia, Sweden, and Israel, from 2016 to 2019. This report covers the initial 24-week trial and the first 12 months of the VBP15-LTE trial (total treatment period 18 months). DMD trial participants (males, 4 to <7 years at entry) treated with 2.0 or 6.0 mg/kg/day vamorolone for the full 18-month period (n = 23) showed clinical improvement of all motor outcomes from baseline to month 18 (time to stand velocity, p = 0.012 [95% CI 0.010, 0.068 event/second]; run/walk 10 meters velocity, p < 0.001 [95% CI 0.220, 0.491 meters/second]; climb 4 stairs velocity, p = 0.001 [95% CI 0.034, 0.105 event/second]; 6-minute walk test, p = 0.001 [95% CI 31.14, 93.38 meters]; North Star Ambulatory Assessment, p < 0.001 [95% CI 2.702, 6.662 points]). Outcomes in vamorolone-treated DMD patients (n = 46) were compared to group-matched participants in the CINRG Duchenne Natural History Study (corticosteroid-naïve, n = 19; corticosteroid-treated, n = 68) over a similar 18-month period. Time to stand was not significantly different between vamorolone-treated and corticosteroid-naïve participants (p = 0.088; least squares [LS] mean 0.042 [95% CI -0.007, 0.091]), but vamorolone-treated participants showed significant improvement compared to group-matched corticosteroid-naïve participants for run/walk 10 meters velocity (p = 0.003; LS mean 0.286 [95% CI 0.104, 0.469]) and climb 4 stairs velocity (p = 0.027; LS mean 0.059 [95% CI 0.007, 0.111]). The vamorolone-related improvements were similar in magnitude to corticosteroid-related improvements. Corticosteroid-treated participants showed stunting of growth, whereas vamorolone-treated trial participants did not (p < 0.001; LS mean 15.86 [95% CI 8.51, 23.22]). Physician-reported incidences of adverse events (AEs) for Cushingoid appearance, hirsutism, weight gain, and behavior change were less for vamorolone than published incidences for prednisone and deflazacort. Key limitations to the study were the open-label design, and use of external comparators. Conclusions We observed that vamorolone treatment was associated with improvements in some motor outcomes as compared with corticosteroid-naïve individuals over an 18-month treatment period. We found that fewer physician-reported AEs occurred with vamorolone than have been reported for treatment with prednisone and deflazacort, and that vamorolone treatment did not cause the stunting of growth seen with these corticosteroids. This Phase IIa study provides Class III evidence to support benefit of motor function in young boys with DMD treated with vamorolone 2.0 to 6.0 mg/kg/day, with a favorable safety profile. A Phase III RCT is underway to further investigate safety and efficacy.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Smith EC, Conklin LS, Hoffman EP, Clemens PR, Mah JK, Finkel RS, Guglieri M, Tulinius M, Nevo Y, Ryan MM, Webster R, Castro D, Kuntz NL, Kerchner L, Morgenroth LP, Arrieta A, Shimony M, Jaros M, Shale P, Gordish-Dressman H, Hagerty L, Dang UJ, Damsker JM, Schwartz BD, Mengle-Gaw LJ, McDonald CM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLoS Medicine

Year: 2020

Volume: 17

Issue: 9

Print publication date: 01/09/2020

Online publication date: 21/09/2020

Acceptance date: 25/08/2020

Date deposited: 11/01/2021

ISSN (print): 1549-1277

ISSN (electronic): 1549-1676

Publisher: Public Library of Science

URL: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003222

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003222

PubMed id: 32956407


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Funding

Funder referenceFunder name
https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/667078.
European Commission Horizons 2020 grant agreement number 667078 [MG],
National Institutes of Health NIAMS U34AR068616 [PRC],
National Institutes of Health NICHD 5U54HD090254 [EPH, LSC]
National Institutes of Health NINDS R44NS095423 [EPH, PRC

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