Comparative effectiveness of teriflunomide vs dimethyl fumarate in multiple sclerosis.

Neurology 2019 08 12;93(7):e635-e646. Epub 2019 Jul 12.

From INSERM (D.-A.L., L.B.), CIC 0004, Nantes; CRTI-INSERM UMR U1064 (D.-A.L.), Université de Nantes; Service de Neurologie (D.-A.L., S.W., L. Michel), CHU Nantes; Centre des Neurosciences de Lyon (R.C., F.R., S.V.), Observatoire Français de la Sclérose en Plaques, INSERM 1028 and CNRS UMR5292, Lyon; Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (R.C., F.R., S.V.), Université de Lyon; Department of Neurology (M.D.), Nancy University Hospital; Université de Lorraine (M.D.), EA 4360 APEMAC, Vandoeuvre-Lès-Nancy; Department of Neurology and Clinical Investigation Center (J.D.S.), CHU de Strasbourg, INSERM 1434; Department of Neurology (D.B.), CHU de Toulouse; Service de Neurologie (B. Brochet), CHU de Bordeaux; Service de Neurologie (J.P.), Hôpital de la Timone, CRMBM, CNRS, APHM, Aix Marseille Univ, Marseille; Univ Lille (P.V.), CHU Lille, LIRIC (Lille Inflammation Research International Center), INSERM UMR995; Service de Neurologie (G.E., L. Michel), CHU de Rennes; CRCSEP Nice (C.L.-F.), Neurologie Pasteur 2, Université Nice Cote d'Azur, Nice; Service de Neurologie (P. Clavelou), CHU de Clermont-Ferrand; Service de Neurologie (E.T.), CHU de Nîmes; Department of Neurology (J.-P.C.), Hôpital Nord, CHU Saint-Étienne; Service de Neurologie et Faculté de Médecine de Reims (A.T.), CHU de Reims, URCA; Service de Neurologie (B.S.), CHU Saint-Antoine; Service de Neurologie (A.A.K.), CHU d'Amiens; Service de Neurologie (P. Cabre), CHU de Fort de France; Service de Neurologie (C. Lubetzki, C.P.), CHU Pitié-Salpêtrière; Service de Neurologie (E.B.), CHU de Besançon; Service de Neurologie (O.H.), CH de Poissy; Service de Neurologie (T.D.), CH de Saint-Denis; Service de Neurologie (T.M.), CHU de Dijon; Service de Neurologie (O.G.), Fondation Rothschild; Service de Neurologie (B. Bourre), CHU de Rouen; Department of Neurology (A.W.), Hôpital Henri Mondor, Créteil; Service de Neurologie (P.L.), CHU de Montpellier; Service de Neurologie (L. Magy), CHU de Limoges; Service de Neurologie (G.D.), CHU de Caen; CRC SEP and Department of Neurology (A.-M.G.), CHU Bretonneau, Tours; Department of Neurology (N.M.), CHU La Milétrie, Poitiers; Department of Neurology (C. Labeyrie), CHU Bicêtre, Le Kremlin Bicêtre; Department of Neurology (I.P.), Hôpital Sud Francilien, Corbeil Essonnes; Department of Neurology (C.N.), CHU Versailles; Department of Neurology (O.C.), CHU de Grenoble; Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique (E.L.), Rennes; Service de Neurologie, Sclérose en Plaques, Pathologies de la Myéline et Neuro-inflammation (S.V.), Hôpital Neurologique Pierre Wertheimer, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon/Bron; and INSERM (Y.F.), UMR 1246-SPHERE, Nantes University, Tours University, Nantes, France.

Objective: In this study, we compared the effectiveness of teriflunomide (TRF) and dimethyl fumarate (DMF) on both clinical and MRI outcomes in patients followed prospectively in the Observatoire Français de la Sclérose en Plaques.

Methods: A total of 1,770 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) (713 on TRF and 1,057 on DMF) with an available baseline brain MRI were included in intention to treat. The 1- and 2-year postinitiation outcomes were relapses, increase of T2 lesions, increase in Expanded Disability Status Scale score, and reason for treatment discontinuation. Propensity scores (inverse probability weighting) and logistic regressions were estimated.

Results: The confounder-adjusted proportions of patients were similar in TRF- compared to DMF-treated patients for relapses and disability progression after 1 and 2 years. However, the adjusted proportion of patients with at least one new T2 lesion after 2 years was lower in DMF compared to TRF (60.8% vs 72.2%, odds ratio [OR] 0.60, < 0.001). Analyses of reasons for treatment withdrawal showed that lack of effectiveness was reported for 8.5% of DMF-treated patients vs 14.5% of TRF-treated patients (OR 0.54, < 0.001), while adverse events accounted for 16% of TRF-treated patients and 21% of DMF-treated patients after 2 years (OR 1.39, < 0.001).

Conclusions: After 2 years of treatment, we found similar effectiveness of DMF and TRF in terms of clinical outcomes, but with better MRI-based outcomes for DMF-treated patients, resulting in a lower rate of treatment discontinuation due to lack of effectiveness.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class III evidence that for patients with RRMS, TRF and DMF have similar clinical effectiveness after 2 years of treatment.

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