Neuromyelitis optica (NMO), or Devic’s disease is a rare autoimmune condition which causes inflammation in the optic nerve and/or spinal cord. The condition affects 5 in every 1,000,000 people and there is currently no cure for the disease.
80% of individuals diagnosed with the condition have autoantibodies to AQP4 (a water channel protein) which bind to astrocytes within the body’s central nervous system. This triggers attacks which can result in pain, bladder/bowel dysfunction, vision loss, respiratory failure, and paralysis among other complications.
Viela Bio has been working on developing a drug which may help treat this disease and they’ve just announced positive results from a Phase 2b trial.
The drug is called inebilizumab. It received Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA in 2016 and the European Medicines Agency in 2017. Inebilizumab’s Phase2b trial was called N-MOmentum. The trials primary endpoint was the time from when the patient received the treatment to the time an attack occurred. The secondary endpoint analyzed the state of the patients disability.
N-MOmentum included 231 participants- some who had AGP4-IgG antibodies and some who did not. Patients were followed for 6 and a half months after being randomized to either receive two doses of the drug by IV or placebo.
The trial met both its primary and secondary endpoints. Patients who received inebilizumab had a 77% decrease in their risk of attack. These individuals also experienced a decline in the progression of disability.
N-MOmentum also showcased the same tolerability and safety as previous studies have indicated.
Researchers are excited by the promising results from this trial and hopefully we will see further developments on this drug soon.
You can read more about this new potential treatment option and its Phase 2b trial here.