Subcutaneous Interferon Beta-1a Reduces Relapse Risk vs Oral MS Drugs

Treatment: Pharmacotherapy
Treatment: Pharmacotherapy
Patients taking oral DMDs were more likely to experience relapse in the first year.

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who initiated treatment with subcutaneous interferon beta-1a (scIFNβ1a) were less likely to experience a relapse in the first year than those who initiated treatment with oral disease-modifying drugs (DMDs).

Results of the study were presented at the 2016 CMSC Annual Meeting in National Harbor, MD.

In order to evaluate relapse rates in a real-world population, researchers led by Chris M. Kozma identified 1665 patients (mean age= 44.4 years; 75.5% female) with MS from the IMS LifeLink PharMetrics Plus Database between January 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. Relapse was assessed at 12 months and defined as MS-related hospitalization, MS-related emergency room visit, or MS-related outpatient visit with corticosteroid prescription.

In all, 686 patients initiated scIFNβ1a, 118 initiated teriflunomide, 455 initiated fingolimod, and 406 initiated dimethyl fumarate. Unadjusted analysis showed no difference in MS-related hospitalizations or ER visits among all DMDs, however fewer patients initiating scIFNβ1a experienced an MS-related outpatient relapse (19.7%) compared to those initiating teriflunomide (32.3%; P=.003) or dimethyl fumarate (26.8%; P=.006). The proportion of patients with any type of MS relapse was lower in those initiating scIFNβ1a (21.7%) compared to oral DMDs (26.1%; P=.039). After controlling for demographics and 90-day pre-index indicators of disease severity, logistic regression analysis showed a greater risk of relapse when teriflunomide or demethyl fumurate were initiated (odds ratio [OR] = 2.1; P = .001 and OR = 1.5; P = .005, respectively) vs scIFNβ1a. Additionally, a neurologist visit (P=.034) and MS relapse (P<.0001) 90 days before treatment initiation was associated with relapse.

Overall, the results indicate that patients initiating scIFNβ1a have a lower likelihood of experiencing MS relapse than patients initiating teriflunomide or dimethyl fumarate.

Disclosures: Chris M. Kozma: EMD Serono, Inc (grant/research support); Frederick Munschauer, Amy L. Phillips: EMD Serono, Inc (employee).

For more coverage of CMSC 2016, go here.


Kozma CM, Munschauer F, Phillips AL. Abstract DX35. Relapse Rates of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis Newly Initiating Subcutaneous Interferon Beta-1a Versus Oral Disease-Modifying Drugs in the Real World. Presented at: 2016 CMSC Annual Meeting. June 1-4, 2016; National Harbor, MD.