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Jul 2019 Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis & frontotemporal degeneration

Masitinib as an add-on therapy to riluzole in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a randomized clinical trial.


Mora JS, Genge A, Chio A, Estol CJ, Chaverri D, Mascias J, Rodriguez GE, Povedano M, Paipa A, Dominguez R, Gamez J, Salvado M, Lunetta C, Ballario C, Riva N, Mandrioli J, Moussy A, Kinet JP, Auclair C, Dubreuil P, Arnold V, Mansfield CD, Hermine O,


To assess masitinib in the treatment of ALS. Double-blind study, randomly assigning 394 patients (1:1:1) to receive riluzole (100 mg/d) plus placebo or masitinib at 4.5 or 3.0 mg/kg/d. Following a blinded transition from phase 2 to phase 2/3, a prospectively defined two-tiered design was implemented based on ALSFRS-R progression rate from disease-onset to baseline (ΔFS). This approach selects a more homogeneous primary efficacy population (« Normal Progressors », ΔFS < 1.1 points/month) while concurrently permitting secondary assessment of the broader population. Primary endpoint was decline in ALSFRS-R at week-48 (ΔALSFRS-R), with the high-dose "Normal Progressor" cohort being the prospectively declared primary efficacy population. Missing data were imputed last observation carried forward (LOCF) methodology with sensitivity analyses performed to test robustness. For the primary efficacy population, masitinib ( = 99) showed significant benefit over placebo ( = 102) with a ΔALSFRS-R between-group difference (ΔLSM) of 3.4 (95% CI 0.65-6.13; p = 0.016), corresponding to a 27% slowing in rate of functional decline (LOCF methodology). Sensitivity analyses were all convergent, including the conservative multiple imputation technique of FCS-REGPMM with a ΔLSM of 3.4 (95% CI 0.53-6.33; p = 0.020). Secondary endpoints (ALSAQ-40, FVC, and time-to-event analysis) were also significant. Conversely, no significant treatment-effect according to ΔALSFRS-R was seen for the broader "Normal and Fast Progressor" masitinib 4.5 mg/kg/d cohort, or either of the low-dose (masitinib 3.0 mg/kg/d) cohorts. Rates of treatment-emergent adverse events (AEs) (regardless of causality or post-onset ΔFS) were 88% with masitinib 4.5 mg/kg/d, 85% with 3.0 mg/kg/d, and 79% with placebo. Likewise, rates of serious AE were 31, 23, and 18%, respectively. No distinct event contributed to the higher rate observed for masitinib and no deaths were related to masitinib. Results show that masitinib at 4.5 mg/kg/d can benefit patients with ALS. A confirmatory phase 3 study will be initiated to substantiate these data.

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