Vollmer, T L2; Sorensen, P S3; Selmaj, K2; Zipp, F2; Havrdova, E2; Cohen, J A2; Sasson, N2; Gilgun-Sherki, Y2; Arnold, D L2
1 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
The phase III placebo-controlled BRAVO study assessed laquinimod effects in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), and descriptively compared laquinimod with interferon beta (IFNβ)-1a (Avonex(®) reference arm). RRMS patients age 18-55 years with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores of 0-5.5 and documented pre-study relapse (≥ 1 in previous year, 2 in previous 2 years, or 1 in previous 1-2 years and ≥ 1 GdE lesion in the previous year) were randomized (1:1:1) to laquinimod 0.6 mg once-daily, matching oral placebo, or IFNβ-1a IM 30 μg once-weekly (rater-blinded design), for 24 months. The primary endpoint was annualized relapse rate (ARR); secondary endpoints included percent brain volume change (PBVC) and 3-month confirmed disability worsening. In all, 1,331 patients were randomized: laquinimod (n = 434), placebo (n = 450), and IFNβ-1a (n = 447). ARR was not significantly reduced with laquinimod [-18 %, risk ratio (RR) = 0.82, 95 % CI 0.66-1.02; p = 0.075] vs. placebo. Laquinimod significantly reduced PBVC (28 %, p < 0.001). Confirmed disability worsening was infrequent (10 % laquinimod, 13 % placebo). The change in confirmed disability worsening with laquinimod measured using EDSS was -31 % [hazard ratio (HR) 0.69, p = 0.063], and using Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC) z-score was -77 % (p = 0.150), vs. placebo. IFNβ-1a reduced ARR 26 % (RR = 0.74, 95 % CI 0.60-0.92, p = 0.007), showed no effect on PBVC loss (+11 %, p = 0.14), and changes in disability worsening were -26 and -66 % as measured using the EDSS (HR 0.742, p = 0.13) and MSFC (p = 0.208), respectively. Adverse events occurred in 75, 82, and 70 % of laquinimod, IFNβ-1a, and placebo patients, respectively. Once-daily oral laquinimod 0.6 mg resulted in statistically nonsignificant reductions in ARR and disability progression, but significant reductions in brain atrophy vs. placebo. Laquinimod was well-tolerated.
Journal of Neurology, 2014, Vol 261, Issue 4, p. 773-783