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.
Amustaline-glutathione pathogen-reduced red blood cell concentrates for transfusion-dependent thalassaemia
British journal of haematology. 2019
Transfusion-dependent thalassaemia (TDT) requires red blood cell concentrates (RBCC) to prevent complications of anaemia, but carries risk of infection. Pathogen reduction of RBCC offers potential to reduce infectious risk. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of pathogen-reduced (PR) Amustaline-Glutathione (A-GSH) RBCC for TDT. Patients were randomized to a blinded 2-period crossover treatment sequence for six transfusions over 8-10 months with Control and A-GSH-RBCC. The efficacy outcome utilized non-inferiority analysis with 90% power to detect a 15% difference in transfused haemoglobin (Hb), and the safety outcome was the incidence of antibodies to A-GSH-PR-RBCC. By intent to treat (80 patients), 12.5 +/- 1.9 RBCC were transfused in each period. Storage durations of A-GSH and C-RBCC were similar (8.9 days). Mean A-GSH-RBCC transfused Hb (g/kg/day) was not inferior to Control (0.113 +/- 0.04 vs. 0.111 +/- 0.04, P = 0.373, paired t-test). The upper bound of the one-sided 95% confidence interval for the treatment difference from the mixed effects model was 0.005 g/kg/day, within a non-inferiority margin of 0.017 g/kg/day. A-GSH-RBCC mean pre-transfusion Hb levels declined by 6.0 g/l. No antibodies to A-GSH-RBCC were detected, and there were no differences in adverse events. A-GSH-RBCCs offer potential to reduce infectious risk in TDT with a tolerable safety profile.
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.
Patient-reported outcomes from a randomized phase II study of the deferasirox film-coated tablet in patients with transfusion-dependent anemias
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. 2018;16((1)):216.
BACKGROUND Adherence to long-term chelation therapy in transfusion-dependent patients is critical to prevent iron overload-related complications. Once-daily deferasirox dispersible tablets (DT) have proven long-term efficacy and safety in patients ≥2 years old with chronic transfusional iron overload. However, barriers to optimal adherence remain, including palatability, preparation time, and requirements for fasting state. A new film-coated tablet (FCT) formulation was developed, swallowed once daily (whole/crushed) with/without a light meal. METHODS The open-label, Phase II ECLIPSE study evaluated patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in transfusion-dependent thalassemia or lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes patients randomized 1:1 to receive deferasirox DT or FCT over 24 weeks as a secondary outcome of the study. Three PRO questionnaires were developed to evaluate both deferasirox formulations: 1) Modified Satisfaction with Iron Chelation Therapy Questionnaire; 2) Palatability Questionnaire; 3) Gastrointestinal (GI) Symptom Diary. RESULTS One hundred seventy three patients were enrolled; 87 received the FCT and 86 the DT formulation. FCT recipients consistently reported better adherence (easier to take medication, less bothered by time to prepare medication and waiting time before eating), greater satisfaction/preference (general satisfaction and with administration of medicine), and fewer concerns (less worry about not swallowing enough medication, fewer limitations in daily activities, less concern about side effects). FCT recipients reported no taste or aftertaste and could swallow all their medicine with an acceptable amount of liquid. GI summary scores were low for both formulations. CONCLUSIONS These findings suggest a preference in favor of the deferasirox FCT formulation regardless of underlying disease or age group. Better patient satisfaction and adherence to chelation therapy may reduce iron overload-related complications. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02125877; registered April 26, 2014.
New film-coated tablet formulation of deferasirox is well tolerated in patients with thalassemia or lower-risk MDS: Results of the randomized, Phase II ECLIPSE study
American Journal of Hematology. 2017;92((5):):420-428
Once-daily deferasirox dispersible tablets (DT) have a well-defined safety and efficacy profile and, compared with parenteral deferoxamine, provide greater patient adherence, satisfaction, and quality of life. However, barriers still exist to optimal adherence, including gastrointestinal tolerability and palatability, leading to development of a new film-coated tablet (FCT) formulation that can be swallowed with a light meal, without the need to disperse into a suspension prior to consumption. The randomized, open-label, Phase II ECLIPSE study evaluated the safety of deferasirox DT and FCT formulations over 24 weeks in chelation-naive or pre-treated patients aged ≥10 years, with transfusion-dependent thalassemia or IPSS-R very-low-, low- or intermediate-risk myelodysplastic syndromes. 173 patients were randomized 1:1 to DT (n=86) or FCT (n=87). Adverse events (overall), consistent with the known deferasirox safety profile, were reported in similar proportions of patients for each formulation (DT 89.5%; FCT 89.7%), with a lower frequency of severe events observed in patients receiving FCT (19.5% vs. 25.6% DT). Laboratory parameters (serum creatinine, creatinine clearance, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and urine/protein creatinine ratio) generally remained stable throughout the study. Patient-reported outcomes showed greater adherence and satisfaction, better palatability and fewer concerns with FCT than DT. Treatment compliance by pill count was higher with FCT (92.9%) than with DT (85.3%). This analysis suggests deferasirox FCT offers an improved formulation with enhanced patient satisfaction, which may improve adherence, thereby reducing frequency and severity of iron overload-related complications. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Randomized phase II trial of deferasirox (Exjade, ICL670), a once-daily, orally-administered iron chelator, in comparison to deferoxamine in thalassemia patients with transfusional iron overload
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Iron accumulation is an inevitable consequence of chronic blood transfusions and results in serious complications in the absence of chelation treatment to remove excess iron. Deferoxamine (Desferal, DFO) reduces morbidity and mortality although the administration schedule of slow, parenteral infusions several days each week limits compliance and negatively affects long-term outcome. Deferasirox (Exjade, ICL670) is an oral chelator with high iron-binding potency and selectivity. In a phase II study, the tolerability and efficacy of deferasirox were compared with those of DFO in 71 adults with transfusional hemosiderosis. DESIGN AND METHODS Patients were randomized to receive once-daily deferasirox (10 or 20 mg/kg; n=24 in both groups) or DFO (40 mg/kg, 5 days/week; n=23) for 48 weeks. Results. Both treatments were well tolerated and no patient discontinued deferasirox due to drug-related adverse events. The reported frequency of transient, mild to moderate gastrointestinal disturbances was higher in the deferasirox group than in the DFO group, but these disturbances settled spontaneously without dose interruption in all patients. Decreases in liver iron concentration (LIC) were comparable in the deferasirox 20 mg/kg/day and DFO groups; baseline values of 8. 5 and 7. 9 mg Fe/g dw fell to 6. 6 and 5. 9 mg Fe/g dw, respectively, by week 48. Deferasirox showed a plasma elimination half-life of 8-16 hours, supporting its once-daily administration. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS Deferasirox at daily doses of 10 or 20 mg/kg was well tolerated and, at 20 mg/kg, showed similar efficacy to DFO 40 mg/kg in terms of decreases in LIC.