Wynn D, Goldstick L, Bauer W, Zhao E, Tarau E, Cohen JA, Robertson D, Miller A. Results from a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of repository corticotropin injection for multiple sclerosis relapse that did not adequately respond to corticosteroids. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2022 Jan 4. doi: 10.1111/cns.13789
Introduction: About 20%-35% of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients fail to respond to high-dose corticosteroids during a relapse. Repository corticotropin injection (RCI, Acthar® Gel) is a naturally sourced complex mixture of adrenocorticotropic hormone analogs and pituitary peptides that has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects.
Aims: The study objective was to determine the efficacy and safety of RCI in patients with MS relapse that inadequately responded to corticosteroids. This was a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Nonresponders to high-dose corticosteroids were randomized to receive RCI (80 U) or placebo daily for 14 days. Assessments included improvements on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29), Clinical Global Impression of Improvement (CGI-I), and adverse events (AEs).
Results: Eighteen patients received RCI, and 17 received placebo. A greater proportion of EDSS responders was observed in the RCI group at Day 7, 21, and 42 compared with the placebo group. Qualitative CGI-I showed that more patients receiving RCI were much improved or very much improved than with placebo. No meaningful differences were observed between treatment groups for MSIS-29. No serious AEs or deaths were reported.
The primary objective of the study was met, with more EDSS re-sponders in the RCI group vs the placebo group (61.1% [90% CI:4 2.0– 77.3] vs 11.8% [90% CI: 4.0–30.1], respectively) at Day 42
Conclusion: RCI is safe and effective for MS relapse patients who do not respond to high-dose corticosteroids.