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Genzyme, a Sanofi company (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY),
reports today additional data from the Phase III CARE-MS II trial. Accumulation of disability was significantly slowed in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who were treated with alemtuzumab versus Rebif
® (high dose subcutaneous interferon beta-1a), as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), a standard assessment of physical disability progression. In addition, significant improvement in disability scores was observed in some patients treated with alemtuzumab from baseline and compared to patients treated with Rebif, suggesting a reversal of disability in these patients. In the trial, patients with pre-existing disability treated with alemtuzumab were more than twice as likely to experience a sustained reduction in disability than patients given Rebif. Genzyme is developing alemtuzumab in MS in collaboration with Bayer HealthCare.
CARE-MS II was a randomized Phase III clinical trial comparing the investigational drug alemtuzumab to Rebif in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) who had relapsed while on prior therapy. The company announced in November that results for the co-primary endpoints of the trial were highly statistically significant.
Key disability data from the CARE-MS II trial presented today at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology include:
The mean EDSS score for patients treated with alemtuzumab decreased over a two-year period, indicating an improvement in their physical disability, while the mean score for patients given Rebif increased, indicating a worsening of disability (-0.17 vs. 0.24; p < 0.0001).
At two years, 29 percent of patients treated with alemtuzumab had experienced a six-month sustained reduction in disability, meaning their level of disability improved, as compared to only 13 percent with Rebif (p=0.0002).
There was a 42 percent reduction in the risk of six-month sustained accumulation (worsening) of disability (SAD) as measured by EDSS in patients treated with alemtuzumab compared to Rebif over two years of study (p=0.0084), as previously reported. This was a highly statistically significant result for this co-primary endpoint.
Key relapse data from the trial presented at AAN include:
65 percent of patients treated with alemtuzumab were relapse-free at two years, meaning they did not experience any relapses in the trial, compared to 47 percent with Rebif (47 percent risk reduction; p<0.0001).
A 49 percent reduction in relapse rate was observed in patients treated with alemtuzumab 12 mg compared to Rebif over two years of study (p<0.0001), a highly significant result for this co-primary endpoint, as previously reported.
“To date, a key goal for MS treatment has been to delay the worsening of disability,” said Jeffrey Cohen, M.D., Director of Experimental Therapeutics, Cleveland Clinic Mellen Center for MS Treatment and Research; and a member of the Steering Committee overseeing the conduct of the study. “
Patients in the study whose prior MS treatment was inadequate at preventing relapses and received alemtuzumab in the CARE-MS ll trial experienced a slowing or reversal of their disability."
In the CARE-MS II trial, alemtuzumab 12 mg was given as an IV administration a total of eight times over the course of the two-year study. The first treatment course of alemtuzumab was administered on five consecutive days, and the second course was administered on three consecutive days 12 months later. Rebif 44 mcg was administered by subcutaneous injection three times per week, each week, throughout the two years of study.