Extended interval dosing (EID; average dosing interval approximately every 6 weeks) of natalizumab is associated with significantly lower risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy than standard interval dosing (SID; every 4 weeks) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). Real-world studies, though limited, suggest that natalizumab effectiveness is generally maintained in patients who switch to EID after initiation of stable treatment with SID. MS PATHS (Multiple Sclerosis Partners Advancing Technology and Health Solutions) is a collaborative, multicenter learning health system that generates real-world clinical and MRI data using highly standardized acquisition protocols. We compared MRI outcomes in MS PATHS patients treated with natalizumab EID versus SID. We also compared MRI outcomes in patients treated with natalizumab (EID and/or SID) versus injectable MS platform therapy.
Natalizumab infusion data from the TOUCH Prescribing Program database and MS PATHS MRI assessment data from seven US sites as of July 23, 2020, were used to identify patients with relapsing-remitting MS who had received natalizumab EID or SID in the interval between two MRI scans (an MRI segment). Patients who received injectable platform MS therapy between two MRI scans were also identified. MRI data were used to determine the incidence rate and odds of developing new or enlarging T2 lesions, annualized percentage change in T2 lesion volume (T2LV), and annualized percentage change in brain parenchymal fraction (BPF). MRI outcomes were compared for 1) natalizumab EID treatment versus natalizumab SID treatment, 2) natalizumab treatment (EID + SID) versus platform therapy, and 3) natalizumab EID versus platform therapy. Propensity score-based weighting or matching were used to balance covariates at the start of MRI segments for all comparisons.
The MRI outcomes observed with natalizumab EID treatment did not differ significantly from those observed with natalizumab SID treatment. The odds ratio for any new or enlarging T2 lesion was 1.07 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.93, 1.24; p = 0.355), and the rate ratio (95% CI) for new or enlarging T2 lesions was 1.62 (0.93, 2.82; p = 0.090). Differences (95% CI) between EID and SID patients in mean annualized percentage change in T2LV and BPF were 1.56% (-3.77%, 6.90%; p = 0.566) and -0.11% (-0.25%, -0.10%; p = 0.096), respectively. Conversely, when MRI outcomes in natalizumab and platform therapy patients were compared, there were significant differences favoring natalizumab in all assessments: the odds of any new or enlarging T2 lesion (odds ratio: 0.69 [95% CI: 0.64, 0.75]; p<0.001), the incidence rate of new or enlarging T2 lesions (rate ratio: 0.47 [95% CI: 0.37, 0.61]; p<0.001), annualized percentage change (decrease) in T2LV (difference: -3.68% [95% CI: -7.06%, -0.30%]; p = 0.033), and annualized percentage change (increase) in BPF (difference: 0.22% [95% CI: 0.16%, 0.29%]; p<0.001). Results of the subgroup comparison of natalizumab EID patients with platform therapy patients were similar to those of the overall-natalizumab-group-versus-platform-therapy comparison.
The results indicate that natalizumab EID and SID provide comparable real-world effectiveness on quantitative MRI metrics. These data further demonstrate that natalizumab EID can provide superior real-world effectiveness to injectable platform therapy on quantitative MRI metrics.

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