Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of deferiprone compared with deferasirox in paediatric patients with transfusion-dependent haemoglobinopathies (DEEP-2): a multicentre, randomised, open-label, non-inferiority, phase 3 trial
Lancet Haematol. 2020;7(6):e469-e478
BACKGROUND Transfusion-dependent haemoglobinopathies require lifelong iron chelation therapy with one of the three iron chelators (deferiprone, deferasirox, or deferoxamine). Deferasirox and deferiprone are the only two oral chelators used in adult patients with transfusion-dependent haemoglobinopathies. To our knowledge, there are no randomised clinical trials comparing deferiprone, a less expensive iron chelator, with deferasirox in paediatric patients. We aimed to show the non-inferiority of deferiprone versus deferasirox. METHODS DEEP-2 was a phase 3, multicentre, randomised trial in paediatric patients (aged 1 month to 18 years) with transfusion-dependent haemoglobinopathies. The study was done in 21 research hospitals and universities in Italy, Egypt, Greece, Albania, Cyprus, Tunisia, and the UK. Participants were receiving at least 150 mL/kg per year of red blood cells for the past 2 years at the time of enrolment, and were receiving deferoxamine (<100 mg/kg per day) or deferasirox (<40 mg/kg per day; deferasirox is not registered for use in children aged <2 years so only deferoxamine was being used in these patients). Any previous chelation treatment was permitted with a 7-day washout period. Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive orally administered daily deferiprone (75-100 mg/kg per day) or daily deferasirox (20-40 mg/kg per day) administered as dispersible tablets, both with dose adjustment for 12 months, stratified by age (<10 years and ≥10 years) and balanced by country. The primary efficacy endpoint was based on predefined success criteria for changes in serum ferritin concentration (all patients) and cardiac MRI T2-star (T2*; patients aged >10 years) to show non-inferiority of deferiprone versus deferasirox in the per-protocol population, defined as all randomly assigned patients who received the study drugs and had available data for both variables at baseline and after 1 year of treatment, without major protocol violations. Non-inferiority was based on the two-sided 95% CI of the difference in the proportion of patients with treatment success between the two groups and was shown if the lower limit of the two-sided 95% CI was greater than -12.5%. Safety was assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This study is registered with EudraCT, 2012-000353-31, and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01825512. FINDINGS 435 patients were enrolled between March 17, 2014, and June 16, 2016, 393 of whom were randomly assigned to a treatment group (194 to the deferiprone group; 199 to the deferasirox group). 352 (90%) of 390 patients had beta-thalassaemia major, 27 (7%) had sickle cell disease, five (1%) had thalassodrepanocytosis, and six (2%) had other haemoglobinopathies. Median follow-up was 379 days (IQR 294-392) for deferiprone and 381 days (350-392) for deferasirox. Non-inferiority of deferiprone versus deferasirox was established (treatment success in 69 [55.2%] of 125 patients assigned deferiprone with primary composite efficacy endpoint data available at baseline and 1 year vs 80 [54.8%] of 146 assigned deferasirox, difference 0.4%; 95% CI -11.9 to 12.6). No significant difference between the groups was shown in the occurrence of serious and drug-related adverse events. Three (2%) cases of reversible agranulocytosis occurred in the 193 patients in the safety analysis in the deferiprone group and two (1%) cases of reversible renal and urinary disorders (one case of each) occurred in the 197 patients in the deferasirox group. Compliance was similar between treatment groups: 183 (95%) of 193 patients in the deferiprone group versus 192 (97%) of 197 patients in the deferisirox group. INTERPRETATION In paediatric patients with transfusion-dependent haemoglobinopathies, deferiprone was effective and safe in inducing control of iron overload during 12 months of treatment. Considering the need for availability of more chelation treatments in paediatric populations, deferiprone offers a valuable treatment option for this age group. FUNDING EU Seventh Framework Programme.
Paediatric patients with transfusion-dependent haemoglobinopathies enrolled in the DEEP-2 multicentre randomised trial (n=393).
Daily deferiprone (75-100 mg/kg per day) (n=194).
Daily deferasirox (20-40 mg/kg per day) (n=199).
Non-inferiority of deferiprone versus deferasirox was established (treatment success in 55.2% patients assigned deferiprone with primary composite efficacy endpoint data available at baseline and 1 year vs. 54.8% assigned deferasirox). No significant difference between the groups was shown in the occurrence of serious and drug-related adverse events. Compliance was similar between treatment groups: 95% of patients in the deferiprone group versus 97% of patients in the deferasirox group.
A Phase 3 Trial of Luspatercept in Patients with Transfusion-Dependent beta-Thalassemia
N Engl J Med. 2020;382(13):1219-1231
BACKGROUND Patients with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia need regular red-cell transfusions. Luspatercept, a recombinant fusion protein that binds to select transforming growth factor beta superfamily ligands, may enhance erythroid maturation and reduce the transfusion burden (the total number of red-cell units transfused) in such patients. METHODS In this randomized, double-blind, phase 3 trial, we assigned, in a 2:1 ratio, adults with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia to receive best supportive care plus luspatercept (at a dose of 1.00 to 1.25 mg per kilogram of body weight) or placebo for at least 48 weeks. The primary end point was the percentage of patients who had a reduction in the transfusion burden of at least 33% from baseline during weeks 13 through 24 plus a reduction of at least 2 red-cell units over this 12-week interval. Other efficacy end points included reductions in the transfusion burden during any 12-week interval and results of iron studies. RESULTS A total of 224 patients were assigned to the luspatercept group and 112 to the placebo group. Luspatercept or placebo was administered for a median of approximately 64 weeks in both groups. The percentage of patients who had a reduction in the transfusion burden of at least 33% from baseline during weeks 13 through 24 plus a reduction of at least 2 red-cell units over this 12-week interval was significantly greater in the luspatercept group than in the placebo group (21.4% vs. 4.5%, P<0.001). During any 12-week interval, the percentage of patients who had a reduction in transfusion burden of at least 33% was greater in the luspatercept group than in the placebo group (70.5% vs. 29.5%), as was the percentage of those who had a reduction of at least 50% (40.2% vs. 6.3%). The least-squares mean difference between the groups in serum ferritin levels at week 48 was -348 mug per liter (95% confidence interval, -517 to -179) in favor of luspatercept. Adverse events of transient bone pain, arthralgia, dizziness, hypertension, and hyperuricemia were more common with luspatercept than placebo. CONCLUSIONS The percentage of patients with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia who had a reduction in transfusion burden was significantly greater in the luspatercept group than in the placebo group, and few adverse events led to the discontinuation of treatment. (Funded by Celgene and Acceleron Pharma; BELIEVE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02604433; EudraCT number, 2015-003224-31.).
Adults with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia (n= 336).
Luspatercept (at a dose of 1.00 to 1.25 mg per kilogram of body weight) for at least 48 weeks (n=224).
Placebo for at least 48 weeks (n= 112).
The percentage of patients who had a reduction in the transfusion burden of at least 33% from baseline during weeks 13 through 24 plus a reduction of at least 2 red-cell units over this 12-week interval was significantly greater in the luspatercept group than in the placebo group (21.4% vs. 4.5%). During any 12-week interval, the percentage of patients who had a reduction in transfusion burden of at least 33% was greater in the luspatercept group than in the placebo group, as was the percentage of those who had a reduction of at least 50%. The least-squares mean difference between the groups in serum ferritin levels at week 48 was -348 mug per liter in favor of luspatercept. Adverse events of transient bone pain, arthralgia, dizziness, hypertension, and hyperuricemia were more common with luspatercept than placebo.
The BELIEVE Trial: Results of a Phase 3,Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-ControlledStudy of Luspatercept in Adult b-ThalassaemiaPatients Who Require Regular Red Blood Cell(RBC) Transfusions
British Journal of Haematology. 2019;185(S1):112.. BSH19-PO-124.
Iron chelation with deferasirox in adult and pediatric patients with thalassemia major: efficacy and safety during 5 years' follow-up
Patients with beta-thalassemia require lifelong iron chelation therapy from early childhood to prevent complications associated with transfusional iron overload. To evaluate long-term efficacy and safety of once-daily oral iron chelation with deferasirox, patients aged >=2 years who completed a 1-year, phase 3, randomized trial entered a 4-year extension study, either continuing on deferasirox (deferasirox cohort) or switching from deferoxamine to deferasirox (crossover cohort). Of 555 patients who received >=1 deferasirox dose, 66.8% completed the study; 43 patients (7.7%) discontinued because of adverse events. In patients with >=4 years' deferasirox exposure who had liver biopsy, mean liver iron concentration significantly decreased by 7.8 ± 11.2 mg Fe/g dry weight (dw; n = 103; P < .001) and 3.1 ± 7.9 mg Fe/g dw (n = 68; P < .001) in the deferasirox and crossover cohorts, respectively. Median serum ferritin significantly decreased by 706 ng/mL (n = 196; P < .001) and 371 ng/mL (n = 147; P < .001), respectively, after >=4 years' exposure. Investigator-assessed, drug-related adverse events, including increased blood creatinine (11.2%), abdominal pain (9.0%), and nausea (7.4%), were generally mild to moderate, transient, and reduced in frequency over time. No adverse effect was observed on pediatric growth or adolescent sexual development. This first prospective study of long-term deferasirox use in pediatric and adult patients with beta-thalassemia suggests treatment for <= 5 years is generally well tolerated and effectively reduces iron burden. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00171210.
Growth and development of paediatric patients with beta thalassaemia treated with deferasirox for up to 5 years
Haematologica. 2010;95((Suppl 2):):429. Abstract No. 1040.
Prospective evaluation of patient-reported outcomes during treatment with deferasirox or deferoxamine for iron overload in patients with beta-thalassemia
Clinical Therapeutics. 2007;29((5):):909-17.
BACKGROUND Iron chelation therapy (ICT) with deferoxamine (DFO), the current standard for the treatment of iron overload in patients with transfusion-dependent disorders such as beta-thalassemia, requires regular subcutaneous or intravenous infusions. This can lead to reduced quality of life and poor adherence, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality in iron-overloaded patients with beta-thalassemia. Deferasirox is an orally administered iron chelator that has been approved for use in the United States, Switzerland, and other countries. OBJECTIVE This analysis was conducted to compare patient-reported outcomes (PROs) during receipt of DFO infusions or once-daily oral therapy with deferasirox (ICL670). METHODS PROs were prospectively evaluated as part of a randomized, Phase III study comparing the efficacy and safety profile of DFO 20 to 60 mg/kg per day with those of deferasirox 5 to 30 mg/kg per day in patients (age > or =2 years) with beta-thalassemia who were receiving regular transfusions and had a liver iron concentration of > or =2 mg/g dry weight. PRO questionnaires were completed by patients or a parent or legal guardian at baseline, week 4, week 24, and end of study (EOS). Patients assessed their level of satisfaction with study treatment (very satisfied, satisfied, neutral, dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied) and rated its convenience (very convenient, convenient, neutral, inconvenient, or very inconvenient). Time lost from normal activities due to ICT in the previous 4 weeks was recorded using a single global assessment. At week 4, patients who had previous experience with DFO were asked to indicate their preference for treatment (ICT received before the study, ICT received during the study, no preference, or no response) and the reason for that preference. At EOS, all patients were asked if they would be willing to continue using the ICT they had received during the study. All study analyses were performed in all patients who received at least 1 dose of study medication. RESULTS Five hundred eighty-six patients (304 females, 282 males; age range, 2-53 years) received treatment with DFO (n = 290) or deferasirox (n = 296). Significantly more patients treated with deferasirox reported being very satisfied or satisfied with treatment compared with those treated with DFO (week 4: 92. 0% vs 50. 4%, respectively; week 24: 89. 6% vs 44. 0%; EOS: 85. 1% vs 38. 7%; all, P < 0. 001). At the same time points, the majority of those treated with deferasirox reported that treatment was very convenient or convenient compared with those treated with DFO (95. 5% vs 21. 3%, 91. 7% vs 17. 4%, and 92. 7% vs 11. 3%, respectively; all, P < 0. 001). Among patients who had previously taken DFO and were randomized to receive deferasirox during the study, 96. 9% reported a preference for deferasirox over DFO. At EOS, the proportion of patients indicating a willingness to continue study therapy was significantly greater in those receiving deferasirox than in those receiving DFO (85. 8% vs 13. 8%; P < 0. 001). CONCLUSIONS In this study, patient-reported satisfaction and convenience were significantly higher for the once-daily, oral ICT deferasirox than for DFO infusions. Among patients who had received DFO before the study, the majority indicated a preference for deferasirox over DFO. Most patients receiving deferasirox indicated that they would be willing to continue taking it. These results suggest that deferasirox had a positive impact on patients' daily lives.
A phase 3 study of deferasirox (ICL670), a once-daily oral iron chelator, in patients with beta-thalassemia
Deferasirox (ICL670) is a once-daily oral iron chelator developed for the treatment of chronic iron overload from blood transfusions. A comparative phase 3 trial was conducted to demonstrate the efficacy of deferasirox in regularly transfused patients with beta-thalassemia aged 2 years or older. Patients were randomized and received treatment with deferasirox (n = 296) or deferoxamine (n = 290), with dosing of each according to baseline liver iron concentration (LIC). The primary endpoint was maintenance or reduction of LIC; secondary endpoints included safety and tolerability, change in serum ferritin level, and net body iron balance. In both arms, patients with LIC values of 7 mg Fe/g dry weight (dw) or higher had significant and similar dose-dependent reductions in LIC and serum ferritin, and effects on net body iron balance. However, the primary endpoint was not met in the overall population, possibly due to the fact that proportionally lower doses of deferasirox relative to deferoxamine were administered to patients with LIC values less than 7 mg Fe/g dw. The most common adverse events included rash, gastrointestinal disturbances, and mild nonprogressive increases in serum creatinine. No agranulocytosis, arthropathy, or growth failure was associated with deferasirox administration. Deferasirox is a promising once-daily oral therapy for the treatment of transfusional iron overload.
Patient satisfaction with deferasirox (Exjade®, ICL670) an oral form of chelation therapy versus deferoxamine an infused chelation therapy
Blood. 2005;106((11):):Abstract No. 2704.
Phase III evaluation of once-daily, oral therapy with ICL670 (Exjade) versus deferoxamine in patients with beta-thalassemia and transfusional hemosiderosis
Blood. 2004;104((11):):984a.. Abstract No. 3619.