Long-term effects of fingolimod in multiple sclerosis: The randomized FREEDOMS extension trial

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess long-term safety and efficacy of fingolimod in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

Methods:

Patients completing FTY720 Research Evaluating Effects of Daily Oral Therapy in MS (FREEDOMS) were eligible for this dose-blinded, parallel-group extension study, continuing fingolimod 0.5 mg/day or 1.25 mg/day, or switching from placebo to either dose, randomized 1:1. Efficacy variables included annualized relapse rate (ARR), brain volume loss (BVL), and confirmed disability progression (CDP). Between-group analyses were conducted in the intent-to-treat (ITT) population from FREEDOMS baseline to end of study. Within-group analyses compared years 0–2 (FREEDOMS) and years 2–4 (extension) in the extension ITT population.

Results:

Of 1,272 patients (FREEDOMS ITT population), 1,033 were eligible, and 920 enrolled in the extension study (continuous-fingolimod: 0.5 mg [n = 331], 1.25 mg [n = 289]; placebo–fingolimod: 0.5 mg [n = 155], 1.25 mg [n = 145]); 916 formed the extension ITT population (n = 330; n = 287; n = 154; n = 145) and 773 (84%) completed. In the continuous-fingolimod groups, ARR was lower (p < 0.0001), BVL was reduced (p < 0.05), and proportionately more patients were free from 3-month CDP (p < 0.05) than in a group comprising all placebo–fingolimod patients. Within each placebo–fingolimod group, ARR was lower (p < 0.001, both) and BVL was reduced after switching (p < 0.01, placebo–fingolimod 0.5 mg). Rates and types of adverse events were similar across groups; no new safety issues were reported.

Conclusion:

Efficacy benefits of fingolimod during FREEDOMS were sustained during the extension; ARR and BVL were reduced after switching.

Classification of evidence:

This study provides Class IV evidence that long-term fingolimod treatment is well-tolerated and reduces relapse rates, disability progression, and MRI effects in patients with RRMS.

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