Joaquim Ferreira, MD, PhD: The Magnitude of Effect for Opicapone in Parkinson Disease


The head of the Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of Lisbon gave his perspective on the importance of the study population of this analysis.

“The magnitude [of effect] was really important, and the other aspect that is very important in practical and clinical terms is that opicapone is once daily while entacapone is one pill added to each levodopa dose.”

At the 2020 MDS Virtual Congress, September 12–16, 2020, data were presented on opicapone (Ongentys; Neurocrine Biosciences) from an exploratory post-hoc analysis of the BIPARK I and II trials (NCT01568073 and NCT01227655). Overall, the data offered evidence that the once-daily agent can be a viable first-line adjunctive option for patients with Parkinson disease who experience motor fluctuations despite treatment with levodopa.

Presented by Joaquim J. Ferreira, MD, PhD, and colleagues, the data included a cohort of 68 patients administered the oral, selective catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor and compared them with 59 individuals who were administered placebo, all of whom were only treated with levodopa. In BIPARK I, the agent was also compared to entacapone (Comtan; Novartis).

The least-squares mean reduction from baseline in absolute OFF time was 109.2 minutes (95% CI, –147.9 to –70.4) for the opicapone group compared to 40.3 minutes (95% CI, –80.7 to 0) for the placebo group, an absolute difference of 68.8 minutes (95% CI, –124.8 to –12.8). Similarly, the least-squares mean increase in absolute ON time from baseline was 96.7 minutes (95% CI, 58.1–135.3) for the opicapone group, while the placebo group experienced a gain of 16.9 minutes (95% CI, –23.3 to 57.0). The absolute difference between groups was 79.8 minutes (95% CI, 24.3–135.4).

Ferreira, who is a professor of neurology and clinical pharmacology, and head of the Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of Lisbon, spoke with NeurologyLive in an interview to discuss the data and offer his perspective on what the clinical community should be aware of with regard to their analyses.

For more coverage of MDS 2020, click here.

Ferreira J, Poewe W, Antonini A, et al. Opicapone as First-Line Adjunctive Levodopa Treatment in Parkinson's Disease Patients with Motor Fluctuations: Findings from BIPARK-I and II Combined Post-Hoc Analysis. Presented at: MDS Virtual Congress; September 12–16, 2020. Abstract 999.
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