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