Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Efgartigimod in generalized myasthenia gravis

Frangiamore R, Rinaldi E, Vanoli F, Andreetta F, Ciusani E, Bonanno S, Maggi L, Gallone A, Colasuonno A, Tramacere I, Cheli M, Pinna A, Mantegazza R, Antozzi C. Efgartigimod in generalized myasthenia gravis: A real-life experience at a national reference center. Eur J Neurol. 2024 Apr;31(4):e16189. doi: 10.1111/ene.16189. Epub 2024 Jan 2. PMID: 38164996.


Background and purpose: Inhibition of the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) for IgG is a promising new therapeutic strategy for antibody-mediated disorders. We report our real-life experience with efgartigimod (EFG) in 19 patients with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) along a clinical follow-up of 14 months.

Methods: EFG was administered according to the GENERATIVE protocol (consisting of a Fixed period of two treatment cycles [given 1 month apart] of four infusions at weekly intervals, followed by a Flexible period of re-cycling in case of worsening). Eight patients were positive for acetylcholine receptor antibody, four for muscle-specific tyrosine kinase antibody, and two for lipoprotein-related protein 4 antibody, and five were classified as triple negative. Efficacy of EFG was assessed by the Myasthenia Gravis Activities of Daily Living, Myasthenia Gravis Composite, and Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis scales.

Results: Fifty-three percent of patients needed three treatment cycles, 26% needed four, and 21% needed five along the 14-month clinical follow-up. Meaningful improvement was observed at the end of each cycle with the clinical scores adopted. EFG had a dramatic effect on disease course, as during the year before treatment eight of 19 patients (42%) were hospitalized, and 15 of 19 (79%) needed treatment with plasma exchange or immunoglobulins; three of 19 (16%) were admitted to the intensive care unit. During EFG, none of the patients was hospitalized and only one patient required plasma exchange and intravenous immunoglobulins. No major side effects or infusion-related reactions occurred.

Conclusions: We observed that EFG was safe and modified significantly the course of the disease along a 14-month follow-up. Our experience strengthens the role of FcRn inhibition as an effective new tool for long-term treatment of gMG.

Howard JF Jr, Bril V, Vu T, Karam C, Peric S, De Bleecker JL, Murai H, Meisel A, Beydoun SR, Pasnoor M, Guglietta A, Van Hoorick B, Steeland S, T'joen C, Utsugisawa K, Verschuuren J, Mantegazza R; ADAPT+ Study Group. Long-term safety, tolerability, and efficacy of efgartigimod (ADAPT+): interim results from a phase 3 open-label extension study in participants with generalized myasthenia gravis. Front Neurol. 2024 Jan 17;14:1284444. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2023.1284444. PMID: 38318236; PMCID: PMC10842202.


Objective: ADAPT+ assessed the long-term safety, tolerability, and efficacy of efgartigimod in adult participants with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG).

Methods: ADAPT+ was an open-label, single-arm, multicenter, up to 3-year extension of the pivotal phase 3 ADAPT study. Efgartigimod was administered in treatment cycles of 4 intravenous infusions (one 10 mg/kg infusion per week). Initiation of subsequent treatment cycles was individualized based on clinical evaluation. Safety endpoints included incidence and severity of adverse events. Efficacy endpoints assessed disease severity using Myasthenia Gravis-Activities of Daily Living (MG-ADL) and Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis (QMG) scores.

Results: As of January 2022, 151 participants had rolled over to ADAPT+ and 145 had received ≥1 dose of efgartigimod, of whom, 111 (76.6%) were AChR-Ab+ and 34 (23.4%) were AChR-Ab-. Mean study duration (treatment plus follow-up) was 548 days, and participants received up to 17 treatment cycles, corresponding to 217.6 participant-years of exposure. In the overall population, 123 (84.8%) participants reported ≥1 treatment-emergent adverse event; most frequent were headache (36 [24.8%]), COVID-19 (22 [15.2%]), and nasopharyngitis (20 [13.8%]). Clinically meaningful improvement (CMI) in mean MG-ADL and QMG scores was seen as early as 1 week following the first infusion across multiple cycles in AChR-Ab+ and AChR-Ab- participants. Maximal MG-ADL and QMG improvements aligned with onset and magnitude of total IgG and AChR-Ab reductions. For AChR-Ab+ participants at any time point in each of the first 10 treatment cycles, more than 90% had a maximum reduction of ≥2 points (CMI) in MG-ADL total score; across the 7 cycles in which QMG was measured, 69.4% to 91.3% of participants demonstrated a maximum reduction of ≥3 points (CMI) in QMG total score. Many participants demonstrated improvements well beyond CMI thresholds. In AChR-Ab+ participants with ≥1 year of combined follow-up between ADAPT and ADAPT+, mean number of annualized cycles was 4.7 per year (median [range] 5.0 [0.5-7.6]).

Conclusion: Results of ADAPT+ corroborate the substantial clinical improvements seen with efgartigimod in ADAPT and support its long-term safety, tolerability, and efficacy, as well as an individualized dosing regimen for treatment of gMG.

Howard JF Jr, Bril V, Burns TM, Mantegazza R, Bilinska M, Szczudlik A, Beydoun S, Garrido FJRR, Piehl F, Rottoli M, Van Damme P, Vu T, Evoli A, Freimer M, Mozaffar T, Ward ES, Dreier T, Ulrichts P, Verschueren K, Guglietta A, de Haard H, Leupin N, Verschuuren JJGM; Efgartigimod MG Study Group. Randomized phase 2 study of FcRn antagonist efgartigimod in generalized myasthenia gravis. Neurology. 2019 Jun 4;92(23):e2661-e2673. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000007600. Epub 2019 May 22. PMID: 31118245; PMCID: PMC6556100.


Objective: To investigate safety and explore efficacy of efgartigimod (ARGX-113), an anti-neonatal Fc receptor immunoglobulin G1 Fc fragment, in patients with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) with a history of anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) autoantibodies, who were on stable standard-of-care myasthenia gravis (MG) treatment.

Methods: A phase 2, exploratory, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 15-center study is described. Eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive 4 doses over a 3-week period of either 10 mg/kg IV efgartigimod or matched placebo combined with their standard-of-care therapy. Primary endpoints were safety and tolerability. Secondary endpoints included efficacy (change from baseline to week 11 of Myasthenia Gravis Activities of Daily Living, Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis, and Myasthenia Gravis Composite disease severity scores, and of the revised 15-item Myasthenia Gravis Quality of Life scale), pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and immunogenicity.

Results: Of the 35 screened patients, 24 were enrolled and randomized: 12 received efgartigimod and 12 placebo. Efgartigimod was well-tolerated in all patients, with no serious or severe adverse events reported, no relevant changes in vital signs or ECG findings observed, and no difference in adverse events between efgartigimod and placebo treatment. All patients treated with efgartigimod showed a rapid decrease in total immunoglobulin G (IgG) and anti-AChR autoantibody levels, and assessment using all 4 efficacy scales consistently demonstrated that 75% showed a rapid and long-lasting disease improvement.

Conclusions: Efgartigimod was safe and well-tolerated. The correlation between reduction of levels of pathogenic IgG autoantibodies and disease improvement suggests that reducing pathogenic autoantibodies with efgartigimod may offer an innovative approach to treat MG.

Classification of evidence: This study provides Class I evidence that efgartigimod is safe and well-tolerated in patients with gMG.

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