Inebilizumab’s Efficacy in African Americans With NMOSD: Evanthia Bernitsas, MD


The neurologist at Wayne State University School of Medicine discussed recently published data describing inebilizumab’s role in producing rapid and sustained B-cell depletion in African Americans with NMOSD [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"No African Americans experienced disability worsening on inebilizumab compared to 1 patient in the placebo group. We also saw rapid and sustained B-cell depletion, with IgM below their normal limit in 60% of African Americans.”

At the 15th World Congress on Controversies in Neurology, September 23-26, data from a retrospective analysis of the pivotal phase 2/3 N-MOmentum clinical trial (NCT02200770) was presented. The analysis evaluated inebilizumab (Uplizna; Viela Bio), an FDA-approved anti-CD19 B-cell depleting humanized monoclonal antibody, in a subpopulation of 20 African Americans with anti-aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody positive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD).

Previous research has suggested that African Americans with NMOSD have a different experience managing this disease, including an earlier age of onset and more severe relapses compared with Caucasians, as well as different responses to targeted therapeutics. At the end of the study, treatment with inebilizumab resulted in an annualized attack rate (AAR) of 0.06 for African Americans compared with 0.09 in the overall group. For reference, median AAR in the African American group in the 2 years before enrollment was 1.38.

Evanthia Bernitsas, MD, neurologist, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and lead author of the study, sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss the importance of the results, including the most top-level findings. She also provided background on the history of the drug and its role within the treatment landscape.

Horizon Therapeutics plc announces data showing Uplizna also produces rapid and sustained B-cell depletion in African Americans with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. News release. Horizon Therapeutics. September 23, 2021. Accessed October 5, 2021.
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