Journal: N Engl J Med

Sorted by: date / impact
Abstract

Interim Results of a Phase 1-2a Trial of Ad26.COV2.S Covid-19 Vaccine.

Sadoff J, Le Gars M, Shukarev G, Heerwegh D, ... Van Hoof J, Schuitemaker H
Background
Efficacious vaccines are urgently needed to contain the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A candidate vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S, is a recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector encoding a full-length and stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
Methods
In this multicenter, placebo-controlled, phase 1-2a trial, we randomly assigned healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55 years (cohort 1) and those 65 years of age or older (cohort 3) to receive the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine at a dose of 5×10 viral particles (low dose) or 1×10 viral particles (high dose) per milliliter or placebo in a single-dose or two-dose schedule. Longer-term data comparing a single-dose regimen with a two-dose regimen are being collected in cohort 2; those results are not reported here. The primary end points were the safety and reactogenicity of each dose schedule.
Results
After the administration of the first vaccine dose in 805 participants in cohorts 1 and 3 and after the second dose in cohort 1, the most frequent solicited adverse events were fatigue, headache, myalgia, and injection-site pain. The most frequent systemic adverse event was fever. Systemic adverse events were less common in cohort 3 than in cohort 1 and in those who received the low vaccine dose than in those who received the high dose. Reactogenicity was lower after the second dose. Neutralizing-antibody titers against wild-type virus were detected in 90% or more of all participants on day 29 after the first vaccine dose (geometric mean titer [GMT], 224 to 354) and reached 100% by day 57 with a further increase in titers (GMT, 288 to 488), regardless of vaccine dose or age group. Titers remained stable until at least day 71. A second dose provided an increase in the titer by a factor of 2.6 to 2.9 (GMT, 827 to 1266). Spike-binding antibody responses were similar to neutralizing-antibody responses. On day 14, CD4+ T-cell responses were detected in 76 to 83% of the participants in cohort 1 and in 60 to 67% of those in cohort 3, with a clear skewing toward type 1 helper T cells. CD8+ T-cell responses were robust overall but lower in cohort 3.
Conclusions
The safety and immunogenicity profiles of Ad26.COV2.S support further development of this vaccine candidate. (Funded by Johnson & Johnson and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services; COV1001 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04436276.).

Copyright © 2021 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 12 Jan 2021; epub ahead of print
Sadoff J, Le Gars M, Shukarev G, Heerwegh D, ... Van Hoof J, Schuitemaker H
N Engl J Med: 12 Jan 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33440088
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Inhaled Treprostinil in Pulmonary Hypertension Due to Interstitial Lung Disease.

Waxman A, Restrepo-Jaramillo R, Thenappan T, Ravichandran A, ... Tapson V, Nathan SD
Background
No therapies are currently approved for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension in patients with interstitial lung disease. The safety and efficacy of inhaled treprostinil for patients with this condition are unclear.
Methods
We enrolled patients with interstitial lung disease and pulmonary hypertension (documented by right heart catheterization) in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 16-week trial. Patients were assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive inhaled treprostinil, administered by means of an ultrasonic, pulsed-delivery nebulizer in up to 12 breaths (total, 72 μg) four times daily, or placebo. The primary efficacy end point was the difference between the two groups in the change in peak 6-minute walk distance from baseline to week 16. Secondary end points included the change in N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) level at week 16 and the time to clinical worsening.
Results
A total of 326 patients underwent randomization, with 163 assigned to inhaled treprostinil and 163 to placebo. Baseline characteristics were similar in the two groups. At week 16, the least-squares mean difference between the treprostinil group and the placebo group in the change from baseline in the 6-minute walk distance was 31.12 m (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.85 to 45.39; P<0.001). There was a reduction of 15% in NT-proBNP levels from baseline with inhaled treprostinil as compared with an increase of 46% with placebo (treatment ratio, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.72; P<0.001). Clinical worsening occurred in 37 patients (22.7%) in the treprostinil group as compared with 54 patients (33.1%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.92; P = 0.04 by the log-rank test). The most frequently reported adverse events were cough, headache, dyspnea, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and diarrhea.
Conclusions
In patients with pulmonary hypertension due to interstitial lung disease, inhaled treprostinil improved exercise capacity from baseline, assessed with the use of a 6-minute walk test, as compared with placebo. (Funded by United Therapeutics; INCREASE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02630316.).

Copyright © 2021 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 12 Jan 2021; epub ahead of print
Waxman A, Restrepo-Jaramillo R, Thenappan T, Ravichandran A, ... Tapson V, Nathan SD
N Engl J Med: 12 Jan 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33440084
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Vaginal Transmission of Cancer from Mothers with Cervical Cancer to Infants.

Arakawa A, Ichikawa H, Kubo T, Motoi N, ... Kohno T, Ogawa C

Two cases of pediatric lung cancer (in 23-month-old and 6-year-old boys) resulting from mother-to-infant transmission of uterine cervical tumors were incidentally detected during routine next-generation sequencing of paired samples of tumor and normal tissue. Spontaneous regression of some lesions in the first child and slow growth of the tumor mass in the second child suggested the existence of alloimmune responses against the transmitted tumors. Immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy with nivolumab led to a strong regression of all remaining tumors in the first child. (Funded by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development and others; TOP-GEAR UMIN Clinical Trials Registry number, UMIN000011141.).

Copyright © 2021 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 06 Jan 2021; 384:42-50
Arakawa A, Ichikawa H, Kubo T, Motoi N, ... Kohno T, Ogawa C
N Engl J Med: 06 Jan 2021; 384:42-50 | PMID: 33406329
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 Inhibition for Prophylaxis of Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease.

Farag SS, Abu Zaid M, Schwartz JE, Thakrar TC, ... Broxmeyer HE, Zhang S
Background
Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4; also known as CD26), a transmembrane receptor expressed on T cells, has a costimulatory function in activating T cells. In a mouse model, down-regulation of CD26 prevented graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) but preserved graft-versus-tumor effects. Whether inhibition of DPP-4 with sitagliptin may prevent acute GVHD after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation is not known.
Methods
We conducted a two-stage, phase 2 clinical trial to test whether sitagliptin plus tacrolimus and sirolimus would reduce the incidence of grade II to IV acute GVHD from 30% to no more than 15% by day 100. Patients received myeloablative conditioning followed by mobilized peripheral-blood stem-cell transplants. Sitagliptin was given orally at a dose of 600 mg every 12 hours starting the day before transplantation until day 14 after transplantation.
Results
A total of 36 patients who could be evaluated, with a median age of 46 years (range, 20 to 59), received transplants from matched related or unrelated donors. Acute GVHD occurred in 2 of 36 patients by day 100; the incidence of grade II to IV GVHD was 5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1 to 16), and the incidence of grade III or IV GVHD was 3% (95% CI, 0 to 12). Nonrelapse mortality was zero at 1 year. The 1-year cumulative incidences of relapse and chronic GVHD were 26% (95% CI, 13 to 41) and 37% (95% CI, 22 to 53), respectively. GVHD-free, relapse-free survival was 46% (95% CI, 29 to 62) at 1 year. Toxic effects were similar to those seen in patients undergoing allogeneic stem-cell transplantation.
Conclusions
In this nonrandomized trial, sitagliptin in combination with tacrolimus and sirolimus resulted in a low incidence of grade II to IV acute GVHD by day 100 after myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02683525.).

Copyright © 2021 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 06 Jan 2021; 384:11-19
Farag SS, Abu Zaid M, Schwartz JE, Thakrar TC, ... Broxmeyer HE, Zhang S
N Engl J Med: 06 Jan 2021; 384:11-19 | PMID: 33406328
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Early High-Titer Plasma Therapy to Prevent Severe Covid-19 in Older Adults.

Libster R, Pérez Marc G, Wappner D, Coviello S, ... Polack FP,
Background
Therapies to interrupt the progression of early coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) remain elusive. Among them, convalescent plasma administered to hospitalized patients has been unsuccessful, perhaps because antibodies should be administered earlier in the course of illness.
Methods
We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of convalescent plasma with high IgG titers against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in older adult patients within 72 hours after the onset of mild Covid-19 symptoms. The primary end point was severe respiratory disease, defined as a respiratory rate of 30 breaths per minute or more, an oxygen saturation of less than 93% while the patient was breathing ambient air, or both. The trial was stopped early at 76% of its projected sample size because cases of Covid-19 in the trial region decreased considerably and steady enrollment of trial patients became virtually impossible.
Results
A total of 160 patients underwent randomization. In the intention-to-treat population, severe respiratory disease developed in 13 of 80 patients (16%) who received convalescent plasma and 25 of 80 patients (31%) who received placebo (relative risk, 0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.29 to 0.94; P = 0.03), with a relative risk reduction of 48%. A modified intention-to-treat analysis that excluded 6 patients who had a primary end-point event before infusion of convalescent plasma or placebo showed a larger effect size (relative risk, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.20 to 0.81). No solicited adverse events were observed.
Conclusions
Early administration of high-titer convalescent plasma against SARS-CoV-2 to mildly ill infected older adults reduced the progression of Covid-19. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Fundación INFANT Pandemic Fund; Dirección de Sangre y Medicina Transfusional del Ministerio de Salud number, PAEPCC19, Plataforma de Registro Informatizado de Investigaciones en Salud number, 1421, and ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04479163.).

Copyright © 2021 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 05 Jan 2021; epub ahead of print
Libster R, Pérez Marc G, Wappner D, Coviello S, ... Polack FP,
N Engl J Med: 05 Jan 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33406353
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Somatic Mutations in and Severe Adult-Onset Autoinflammatory Disease.

Beck DB, Ferrada MA, Sikora KA, Ombrello AK, ... Kastner DL, Grayson PC
Background
Adult-onset inflammatory syndromes often manifest with overlapping clinical features. Variants in ubiquitin-related genes, previously implicated in autoinflammatory disease, may define new disorders.
Methods
We analyzed peripheral-blood exome sequence data independent of clinical phenotype and inheritance pattern to identify deleterious mutations in ubiquitin-related genes. Sanger sequencing, immunoblotting, immunohistochemical testing, flow cytometry, and transcriptome and cytokine profiling were performed. CRISPR-Cas9-edited zebrafish were used as an in vivo model to assess gene function.
Results
We identified 25 men with somatic mutations affecting methionine-41 (p.Met41) in UBA1, the major E1 enzyme that initiates ubiquitylation. (The genelies on the X chromosome.) In such patients, an often fatal, treatment-refractory inflammatory syndrome develops in late adulthood, with fevers, cytopenias, characteristic vacuoles in myeloid and erythroid precursor cells, dysplastic bone marrow, neutrophilic cutaneous and pulmonary inflammation, chondritis, and vasculitis. Most of these 25 patients met clinical criteria for an inflammatory syndrome (relapsing polychondritis, Sweet\'s syndrome, polyarteritis nodosa, or giant-cell arteritis) or a hematologic condition (myelodysplastic syndrome or multiple myeloma) or both. Mutations were found in more than half the hematopoietic stem cells, including peripheral-blood myeloid cells but not lymphocytes or fibroblasts. Mutations affecting p.Met41 resulted in loss of the canonical cytoplasmic isoform of UBA1 and in expression of a novel, catalytically impaired isoform initiated at p.Met67. Mutant peripheral-blood cells showed decreased ubiquitylation and activated innate immune pathways. Knockout of the cytoplasmic UBA1 isoform homologue in zebrafish caused systemic inflammation.
Conclusions
Using a genotype-driven approach, we identified a disorder that connects seemingly unrelated adult-onset inflammatory syndromes. We named this disorder the VEXAS (vacuoles, E1 enzyme, X-linked, autoinflammatory, somatic) syndrome. (Funded by the NIH Intramural Research Programs and the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 30 Dec 2020; 383:2628-2638
Beck DB, Ferrada MA, Sikora KA, Ombrello AK, ... Kastner DL, Grayson PC
N Engl J Med: 30 Dec 2020; 383:2628-2638 | PMID: 33108101
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Higher or Lower Hemoglobin Transfusion Thresholds for Preterm Infants.

Kirpalani H, Bell EF, Hintz SR, Tan S, ... Das A,
Background
Limited data suggest that higher hemoglobin thresholds for red-cell transfusions may reduce the risk of cognitive delay among extremely-low-birth-weight infants with anemia.
Methods
We performed an open, multicenter trial in which infants with a birth weight of 1000 g or less and a gestational age between 22 weeks 0 days and 28 weeks 6 days were randomly assigned within 48 hours after delivery to receive red-cell transfusions at higher or lower hemoglobin thresholds until 36 weeks of postmenstrual age or discharge, whichever occurred first. The primary outcome was a composite of death or neurodevelopmental impairment (cognitive delay, cerebral palsy, or hearing or vision loss) at 22 to 26 months of age, corrected for prematurity.
Results
A total of 1824 infants (mean birth weight, 756 g; mean gestational age, 25.9 weeks) underwent randomization. There was a between-group difference of 1.9 g per deciliter (19 g per liter) in the pretransfusion mean hemoglobin levels throughout the treatment period. Primary outcome data were available for 1692 infants (92.8%). Of 845 infants in the higher-threshold group, 423 (50.1%) died or survived with neurodevelopmental impairment, as compared with 422 of 847 infants (49.8%) in the lower-threshold group (relative risk adjusted for birth-weight stratum and center, 1.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92 to 1.10; P = 0.93). At 2 years, the higher- and lower-threshold groups had similar incidences of death (16.2% and 15.0%, respectively) and neurodevelopmental impairment (39.6% and 40.3%, respectively). At discharge from the hospital, the incidences of survival without severe complications were 28.5% and 30.9%, respectively. Serious adverse events occurred in 22.7% and 21.7%, respectively.
Conclusions
In extremely-low-birth-weight infants, a higher hemoglobin threshold for red-cell transfusion did not improve survival without neurodevelopmental impairment at 22 to 26 months of age, corrected for prematurity. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; TOP ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01702805.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 30 Dec 2020; 383:2639-2651
Kirpalani H, Bell EF, Hintz SR, Tan S, ... Das A,
N Engl J Med: 30 Dec 2020; 383:2639-2651 | PMID: 33382931
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine.

Baden LR, El Sahly HM, Essink B, Kotloff K, ... Zaks T,
Background
Vaccines are needed to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and to protect persons who are at high risk for complications. The mRNA-1273 vaccine is a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA-based vaccine that encodes the prefusion stabilized full-length spike protein of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes Covid-19.
Methods
This phase 3 randomized, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled trial was conducted at 99 centers across the United States. Persons at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection or its complications were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive two intramuscular injections of mRNA-1273 (100 μg) or placebo 28 days apart. The primary end point was prevention of Covid-19 illness with onset at least 14 days after the second injection in participants who had not previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2.
Results
The trial enrolled 30,420 volunteers who were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either vaccine or placebo (15,210 participants in each group). More than 96% of participants received both injections, and 2.2% had evidence (serologic, virologic, or both) of SARS-CoV-2 infection at baseline. Symptomatic Covid-19 illness was confirmed in 185 participants in the placebo group (56.5 per 1000 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 48.7 to 65.3) and in 11 participants in the mRNA-1273 group (3.3 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 1.7 to 6.0); vaccine efficacy was 94.1% (95% CI, 89.3 to 96.8%; P<0.001). Efficacy was similar across key secondary analyses, including assessment 14 days after the first dose, analyses that included participants who had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection at baseline, and analyses in participants 65 years of age or older. Severe Covid-19 occurred in 30 participants, with one fatality; all 30 were in the placebo group. Moderate, transient reactogenicity after vaccination occurred more frequently in the mRNA-1273 group. Serious adverse events were rare, and the incidence was similar in the two groups.
Conclusions
The mRNA-1273 vaccine showed 94.1% efficacy at preventing Covid-19 illness, including severe disease. Aside from transient local and systemic reactions, no safety concerns were identified. (Funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; COVE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04470427.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 29 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print
Baden LR, El Sahly HM, Essink B, Kotloff K, ... Zaks T,
N Engl J Med: 29 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33378609
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Changes in Seizure Frequency and Antiepileptic Therapy during Pregnancy.

Pennell PB, French JA, May RC, Gerard E, ... Meador KJ,
Background
Among women with epilepsy, studies regarding changes in seizure frequency during pregnancy have been limited by the lack of an appropriate nonpregnant comparator group to provide data on the natural course of seizure frequency in both groups.
Methods
In this prospective, observational, multicenter cohort study, we compared the frequency of seizures during pregnancy through the peripartum period (the first 6 weeks after birth) (epoch 1) with the frequency during the postpartum period (the following 7.5 months after pregnancy) (epoch 2). Nonpregnant women with epilepsy were enrolled as controls and had similar follow-up during an 18-month period. The primary outcome was the percentage of women who had a higher frequency of seizures that impaired awareness during epoch 1 than during epoch 2. We also compared changes in the doses of antiepileptic drugs that were administered in the two groups during the first 9 months of epoch 1.
Results
We enrolled 351 pregnant women and 109 controls with epilepsy. Among the 299 pregnant women and 93 controls who had a history of seizures that impaired awareness and who had available data for the two epochs, seizure frequency was higher during epoch 1 than during epoch 2 in 70 pregnant women (23%) and in 23 controls (25%) (odds ratio, 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54 to 1.60). During pregnancy, the dose of an antiepileptic drug was changed at least once in 74% of pregnant women and in 31% of controls (odds ratio, 6.36; 95% CI, 3.82 to 10.59).
Conclusions
Among women with epilepsy, the percentage who had a higher incidence of seizures during pregnancy than during the postpartum period was similar to that in women who were not pregnant during the corresponding epochs. Changes in doses of antiepileptic drugs occurred more frequently in pregnant women than in nonpregnant women during similar time periods. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health; MONEAD ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01730170.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 23 Dec 2020; 383:2547-2556
Pennell PB, French JA, May RC, Gerard E, ... Meador KJ,
N Engl J Med: 23 Dec 2020; 383:2547-2556 | PMID: 33369356
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Oral Azacitidine Maintenance Therapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia in First Remission.

Wei AH, Döhner H, Pocock C, Montesinos P, ... Roboz GJ,
Background
Although induction chemotherapy results in remission in many older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), relapse is common and overall survival is poor.
Methods
We conducted a phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the oral formulation of azacitidine (CC-486, a hypomethylating agent that is not bioequivalent to injectable azacitidine), as maintenance therapy in patients with AML who were in first remission after intensive chemotherapy. Patients who were 55 years of age or older, were in complete remission with or without complete blood count recovery, and were not candidates for hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation were randomly assigned to receive CC-486 (300 mg) or placebo once daily for 14 days per 28-day cycle. The primary end point was overall survival. Secondary end points included relapse-free survival and health-related quality of life.
Results
A total of 472 patients underwent randomization; 238 were assigned to the CC-486 group and 234 were assigned to the placebo group. The median age was 68 years (range, 55 to 86). Median overall survival from the time of randomization was significantly longer with CC-486 than with placebo (24.7 months and 14.8 months, respectively; P<0.001). Median relapse-free survival was also significantly longer with CC-486 than with placebo (10.2 months and 4.8 months, respectively; P<0.001). Benefits of CC-486 with respect to overall and relapse-free survival were shown in most subgroups defined according to baseline characteristics. The most common adverse events in both groups were grade 1 or 2 gastrointestinal events. Common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were neutropenia (in 41% of patients in the CC-486 group and 24% of patients in the placebo group) and thrombocytopenia (in 22% and 21%, respectively). Overall health-related quality of life was preserved during CC-486 treatment.
Conclusions
CC-486 maintenance therapy was associated with significantly longer overall and relapse-free survival than placebo among older patients with AML who were in remission after chemotherapy. Side effects were mainly gastrointestinal symptoms and neutropenia. Quality-of-life measures were maintained throughout treatment. (Supported by Celgene; QUAZAR AML-001 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01757535.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 23 Dec 2020; 383:2526-2537
Wei AH, Döhner H, Pocock C, Montesinos P, ... Roboz GJ,
N Engl J Med: 23 Dec 2020; 383:2526-2537 | PMID: 33369355
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Randomized Trial of Focused Ultrasound Subthalamotomy for Parkinson\'s Disease.

Martínez-Fernández R, Máñez-Miró JU, Rodríguez-Rojas R, Del Álamo M, ... Elias WJ, Obeso JA
Background
The subthalamic nucleus is the preferred neurosurgical target for deep-brain stimulation to treat cardinal motor features of Parkinson\'s disease. Focused ultrasound is an imaging-guided method for creating therapeutic lesions in deep-brain structures, including the subthalamic nucleus.
Methods
We randomly assigned, in a 2:1 ratio, patients with markedly asymmetric Parkinson\'s disease who had motor signs not fully controlled by medication or who were ineligible for deep-brain stimulation surgery to undergo focused ultrasound subthalamotomy on the side opposite their main motor signs or a sham procedure. The primary efficacy outcome was the between-group difference in the change from baseline to 4 months in the Movement Disorder Society-Unified Parkinson\'s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) motor score (i.e., part III) for the more affected body side (range, 0 to 44, with higher scores indicating worse parkinsonism) in the off-medication state. The primary safety outcome (procedure-related complications) was assessed at 4 months.
Results
Among 40 enrolled patients, 27 were assigned to focused ultrasound subthalamotomy (active treatment) and 13 to the sham procedure (control). The mean MDS-UPDRS III score for the more affected side decreased from 19.9 at baseline to 9.9 at 4 months in the active-treatment group (least-squares mean difference, 9.8 points; 95% confidence interval [CI], 8.6 to 11.1) and from 18.7 to 17.1 in the control group (least-squares mean difference, 1.7 points; 95% CI, 0.0 to 3.5); the between-group difference was 8.1 points (95% CI, 6.0 to 10.3; P<0.001). Adverse events in the active-treatment group were dyskinesia in the off-medication state in 6 patients and in the on-medication state in 6, which persisted in 3 and 1, respectively, at 4 months; weakness on the treated side in 5 patients, which persisted in 2 at 4 months; speech disturbance in 15 patients, which persisted in 3 at 4 months; facial weakness in 3 patients, which persisted in 1 at 4 months; and gait disturbance in 13 patients, which persisted in 2 at 4 months. In 6 patients in the active-treatment group, some of these deficits were present at 12 months.
Conclusions
Focused ultrasound subthalamotomy in one hemisphere improved motor features of Parkinson\'s disease in selected patients with asymmetric signs. Adverse events included speech and gait disturbances, weakness on the treated side, and dyskinesia. (Funded by Insightec and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03454425.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 23 Dec 2020; 383:2501-2513
Martínez-Fernández R, Máñez-Miró JU, Rodríguez-Rojas R, Del Álamo M, ... Elias WJ, Obeso JA
N Engl J Med: 23 Dec 2020; 383:2501-2513 | PMID: 33369354
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Antibody Status and Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Health Care Workers.

Lumley SF, O\'Donnell D, Stoesser NE, Matthews PC, ... Eyre DW,
Background
The relationship between the presence of antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the risk of subsequent reinfection remains unclear.
Methods
We investigated the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in seropositive and seronegative health care workers attending testing of asymptomatic and symptomatic staff at Oxford University Hospitals in the United Kingdom. Baseline antibody status was determined by anti-spike (primary analysis) and anti-nucleocapsid IgG assays, and staff members were followed for up to 31 weeks. We estimated the relative incidence of PCR-positive test results and new symptomatic infection according to antibody status, adjusting for age, participant-reported gender, and changes in incidence over time.
Results
A total of 12,541 health care workers participated and had anti-spike IgG measured; 11,364 were followed up after negative antibody results and 1265 after positive results, including 88 in whom seroconversion occurred during follow-up. A total of 223 anti-spike-seronegative health care workers had a positive PCR test (1.09 per 10,000 days at risk), 100 during screening while they were asymptomatic and 123 while symptomatic, whereas 2 anti-spike-seropositive health care workers had a positive PCR test (0.13 per 10,000 days at risk), and both workers were asymptomatic when tested (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 0.11; 95% confidence interval, 0.03 to 0.44; P = 0.002). There were no symptomatic infections in workers with anti-spike antibodies. Rate ratios were similar when the anti-nucleocapsid IgG assay was used alone or in combination with the anti-spike IgG assay to determine baseline status.
Conclusions
The presence of positive anti-spike or anti-nucleocapsid IgG antibodies was associated with a substantially reduced risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection in the ensuing 6 months. (Funded by the U.K. Government Department of Health and Social Care and others.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 22 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print
Lumley SF, O'Donnell D, Stoesser NE, Matthews PC, ... Eyre DW,
N Engl J Med: 22 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33369366
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

A Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibody for Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19.

, Lundgren JD, Grund B, Barkauskas CE, ... Lane HC, Neaton JD
Background
LY-CoV555, a neutralizing monoclonal antibody, has been associated with a decrease in viral load and the frequency of hospitalizations or emergency department visits among outpatients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Data are needed on the effect of this antibody in patients who are hospitalized with Covid-19.
Methods
In this platform trial of therapeutic agents, we randomly assigned hospitalized patients who had Covid-19 without end-organ failure in a 1:1 ratio to receive either LY-CoV555 or matching placebo. In addition, all the patients received high-quality supportive care as background therapy, including the antiviral drug remdesivir and, when indicated, supplemental oxygen and glucocorticoids. LY-CoV555 (at a dose of 7000 mg) or placebo was administered as a single intravenous infusion over a 1-hour period. The primary outcome was a sustained recovery during a 90-day period, as assessed in a time-to-event analysis. An interim futility assessment was performed on the basis of a seven-category ordinal scale for pulmonary function on day 5.
Results
On October 26, 2020, the data and safety monitoring board recommended stopping enrollment for futility after 314 patients (163 in the LY-CoV555 group and 151 in the placebo group) had undergone randomization and infusion. The median interval since the onset of symptoms was 7 days (interquartile range, 5 to 9). At day 5, a total of 81 patients (50%) in the LY-CoV555 group and 81 (54%) in the placebo group were in one of the two most favorable categories of the pulmonary outcome. Across the seven categories, the odds ratio of being in a more favorable category in the LY-CoV555 group than in the placebo group was 0.85 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56 to 1.29; P = 0.45). The percentage of patients with the primary safety outcome (a composite of death, serious adverse events, or clinical grade 3 or 4 adverse events through day 5) was similar in the LY-CoV555 group and the placebo group (19% and 14%, respectively; odds ratio, 1.56; 95% CI, 0.78 to 3.10; P = 0.20). The rate ratio for a sustained recovery was 1.06 (95% CI, 0.77 to 1.47).
Conclusions
Monoclonal antibody LY-CoV555, when coadministered with remdesivir, did not demonstrate efficacy among hospitalized patients who had Covid-19 without end-organ failure. (Funded by Operation Warp Speed and others; TICO ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04501978.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 21 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print
, Lundgren JD, Grund B, Barkauskas CE, ... Lane HC, Neaton JD
N Engl J Med: 21 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33356051
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Tocilizumab in Patients Hospitalized with Covid-19 Pneumonia.

Salama C, Han J, Yau L, Reiss WG, ... Freedman J, Mohan SV
Background
Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pneumonia is often associated with hyperinflammation. Despite the disproportionate incidence of Covid-19 among underserved and racial and ethnic minority populations, the safety and efficacy of the anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody tocilizumab in patients from these populations who are hospitalized with Covid-19 pneumonia are unclear.
Methods
We randomly assigned (in a 2:1 ratio) patients hospitalized with Covid-19 pneumonia who were not receiving mechanical ventilation to receive standard care plus one or two doses of either tocilizumab (8 mg per kilogram of body weight intravenously) or placebo. Site selection was focused on the inclusion of sites enrolling high-risk and minority populations. The primary outcome was mechanical ventilation or death by day 28.
Results
A total of 389 patients underwent randomization, and the modified intention-to-treat population included 249 patients in the tocilizumab group and 128 patients in the placebo group; 56.0% were Hispanic or Latino, 14.9% were Black, 12.7% were American Indian or Alaska Native, 12.7% were non-Hispanic White, and 3.7% were of other or unknown race or ethnic group. The cumulative percentage of patients who had received mechanical ventilation or who had died by day 28 was 12.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.5 to 16.9) in the tocilizumab group and 19.3% (95% CI, 13.3 to 27.4) in the placebo group (hazard ratio for mechanical ventilation or death, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.33 to 0.97; P = 0.04 by the log-rank test). Clinical failure as assessed in a time-to-event analysis favored tocilizumab over placebo (hazard ratio, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.33 to 0.93). Death from any cause by day 28 occurred in 10.4% of the patients in the tocilizumab group and 8.6% of those in the placebo group (weighted difference, 2.0 percentage points; 95% CI, -5.2 to 7.8). In the safety population, serious adverse events occurred in 38 of 250 patients (15.2%) in the tocilizumab group and 25 of 127 patients (19.7%) in the placebo group.
Conclusions
In hospitalized patients with Covid-19 pneumonia who were not receiving mechanical ventilation, tocilizumab reduced the likelihood of progression to the composite outcome of mechanical ventilation or death, but it did not improve survival. No new safety signals were identified. (Funded by Genentech; EMPACTA ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04372186.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 16 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print
Salama C, Han J, Yau L, Reiss WG, ... Freedman J, Mohan SV
N Engl J Med: 16 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33332779
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

REGN-COV2, a Neutralizing Antibody Cocktail, in Outpatients with Covid-19.

Weinreich DM, Sivapalasingam S, Norton T, Ali S, ... Yancopoulos GD,
Background
Recent data suggest that complications and death from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) may be related to high viral loads.
Methods
In this ongoing, double-blind, phase 1-3 trial involving nonhospitalized patients with Covid-19, we investigated two fully human, neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein, used in a combined cocktail (REGN-COV2) to reduce the risk of the emergence of treatment-resistant mutant virus. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive placebo, 2.4 g of REGN-COV2, or 8.0 g of REGN-COV2 and were prospectively characterized at baseline for endogenous immune response against SARS-CoV-2 (serum antibody-positive or serum antibody-negative). Key end points included the time-weighted average change from baseline in viral load from day 1 through day 7 and the percentage of patients with at least one Covid-19-related medically attended visit through day 29. Safety was assessed in all patients.
Results
Data from 275 patients are reported. The least-squares mean difference (combined REGN-COV2 dose groups vs. placebo group) in the time-weighted average change in viral load from day 1 through day 7 was -0.56 log copies per milliliter (95% confidence interval [CI], -1.02 to -0.11) among patients who were serum antibody-negative at baseline and -0.41 log copies per milliliter (95% CI, -0.71 to -0.10) in the overall trial population. In the overall trial population, 6% of the patients in the placebo group and 3% of the patients in the combined REGN-COV2 dose groups reported at least one medically attended visit; among patients who were serum antibody-negative at baseline, the corresponding percentages were 15% and 6% (difference, -9 percentage points; 95% CI, -29 to 11). The percentages of patients with hypersensitivity reactions, infusion-related reactions, and other adverse events were similar in the combined REGN-COV2 dose groups and the placebo group.
Conclusions
In this interim analysis, the REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail reduced viral load, with a greater effect in patients whose immune response had not yet been initiated or who had a high viral load at baseline. Safety outcomes were similar in the combined REGN-COV2 dose groups and the placebo group. (Funded by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and the Biomedical and Advanced Research and Development Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04425629.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 16 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print
Weinreich DM, Sivapalasingam S, Norton T, Ali S, ... Yancopoulos GD,
N Engl J Med: 16 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33332778
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Trial of Dexamethasone for Chronic Subdural Hematoma.

Hutchinson PJ, Edlmann E, Bulters D, Zolnourian A, ... Kolias AG,
Background
Chronic subdural hematoma is a common neurologic disorder that is especially prevalent among older people. The effect of dexamethasone on outcomes in patients with chronic subdural hematoma has not been well studied.
Methods
We conducted a multicenter, randomized trial in the United Kingdom that enrolled adult patients with symptomatic chronic subdural hematoma. The patients were assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive a 2-week tapering course of oral dexamethasone, starting at 8 mg twice daily, or placebo. The decision to surgically evacuate the hematoma was made by the treating clinician. The primary outcome was a score of 0 to 3, representing a favorable outcome, on the modified Rankin scale at 6 months after randomization; scores range from 0 (no symptoms) to 6 (death).
Results
From August 2015 through November 2019, a total of 748 patients were included in the trial after randomization - 375 were assigned to the dexamethasone group and 373 to the placebo group. The mean age of the patients was 74 years, and 94% underwent surgery to evacuate their hematomas during the index admission; 60% in both groups had a score of 1 to 3 on the modified Rankin scale at admission. In a modified intention-to-treat analysis that excluded the patients who withdrew consent for participation in the trial or who were lost to follow-up, leaving a total of 680 patients, a favorable outcome was reported in 286 of 341 patients (83.9%) in the dexamethasone group and in 306 of 339 patients (90.3%) in the placebo group (difference, -6.4 percentage points [95% confidence interval, -11.4 to -1.4] in favor of the placebo group; P = 0.01). Among the patients with available data, repeat surgery for recurrence of the hematoma was performed in 6 of 349 patients (1.7%) in the dexamethasone group and in 25 of 350 patients (7.1%) in the placebo group. More adverse events occurred in the dexamethasone group than in the placebo group.
Conclusions
Among adults with symptomatic chronic subdural hematoma, most of whom had undergone surgery to remove their hematomas during the index admission, treatment with dexamethasone resulted in fewer favorable outcomes and more adverse events than placebo at 6 months, but fewer repeat operations were performed in the dexamethasone group. (Funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme; Dex-CSDH ISRCTN number, ISRCTN80782810.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 15 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print
Hutchinson PJ, Edlmann E, Bulters D, Zolnourian A, ... Kolias AG,
N Engl J Med: 15 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33326713
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Baricitinib plus Remdesivir for Hospitalized Adults with Covid-19.

Kalil AC, Patterson TF, Mehta AK, Tomashek KM, ... Dodd LE, Beigel JH
Background
Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is associated with dysregulated inflammation. The effects of combination treatment with baricitinib, a Janus kinase inhibitor, plus remdesivir are not known.
Methods
We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluating baricitinib plus remdesivir in hospitalized adults with Covid-19. All the patients received remdesivir (≤10 days) and either baricitinib (≤14 days) or placebo (control). The primary outcome was the time to recovery. The key secondary outcome was clinical status at day 15.
Results
A total of 1033 patients underwent randomization (with 515 assigned to combination treatment and 518 to control). Patients receiving baricitinib had a median time to recovery of 7 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 6 to 8), as compared with 8 days (95% CI, 7 to 9) with control (rate ratio for recovery, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.32; P = 0.03), and a 30% higher odds of improvement in clinical status at day 15 (odds ratio, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0 to 1.6). Patients receiving high-flow oxygen or noninvasive ventilation at enrollment had a time to recovery of 10 days with combination treatment and 18 days with control (rate ratio for recovery, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.10 to 2.08). The 28-day mortality was 5.1% in the combination group and 7.8% in the control group (hazard ratio for death, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.39 to 1.09). Serious adverse events were less frequent in the combination group than in the control group (16.0% vs. 21.0%; difference, -5.0 percentage points; 95% CI, -9.8 to -0.3; P = 0.03), as were new infections (5.9% vs. 11.2%; difference, -5.3 percentage points; 95% CI, -8.7 to -1.9; P = 0.003).
Conclusions
Baricitinib plus remdesivir was superior to remdesivir alone in reducing recovery time and accelerating improvement in clinical status among patients with Covid-19, notably among those receiving high-flow oxygen or noninvasive ventilation. The combination was associated with fewer serious adverse events. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04401579.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 10 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print
Kalil AC, Patterson TF, Mehta AK, Tomashek KM, ... Dodd LE, Beigel JH
N Engl J Med: 10 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33306283
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine.

Polack FP, Thomas SJ, Kitchin N, Absalon J, ... Gruber WC,
Background
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the resulting coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have afflicted tens of millions of people in a worldwide pandemic. Safe and effective vaccines are needed urgently.
Methods
In an ongoing multinational, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded, pivotal efficacy trial, we randomly assigned persons 16 years of age or older in a 1:1 ratio to receive two doses, 21 days apart, of either placebo or the BNT162b2 vaccine candidate (30 μg per dose). BNT162b2 is a lipid nanoparticle-formulated, nucleoside-modified RNA vaccine that encodes a prefusion stabilized, membrane-anchored SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein. The primary end points were efficacy of the vaccine against laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 and safety.
Results
A total of 43,548 participants underwent randomization, of whom 43,448 received injections: 21,720 with BNT162b2 and 21,728 with placebo. There were 8 cases of Covid-19 with onset at least 7 days after the second dose among participants assigned to receive BNT162b2 and 162 cases among those assigned to placebo; BNT162b2 was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 (95% credible interval, 90.3 to 97.6). Similar vaccine efficacy (generally 90 to 100%) was observed across subgroups defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity, baseline body-mass index, and the presence of coexisting conditions. Among 10 cases of severe Covid-19 with onset after the first dose, 9 occurred in placebo recipients and 1 in a BNT162b2 recipient. The safety profile of BNT162b2 was characterized by short-term, mild-to-moderate pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. The incidence of serious adverse events was low and was similar in the vaccine and placebo groups.
Conclusions
A two-dose regimen of BNT162b2 conferred 95% protection against Covid-19 in persons 16 years of age or older. Safety over a median of 2 months was similar to that of other viral vaccines. (Funded by BioNTech and Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04368728.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 09 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print
Polack FP, Thomas SJ, Kitchin N, Absalon J, ... Gruber WC,
N Engl J Med: 09 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33301246
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Mortality with Paclitaxel-Coated Devices in Peripheral Artery Disease.

Nordanstig J, James S, Andersson M, Andersson M, ... Öjersjö A, Falkenberg M
Background
The results of a recent meta-analysis aroused concern about an increased risk of death associated with the use of paclitaxel-coated angioplasty balloons and stents in lower-limb endovascular interventions for symptomatic peripheral artery disease.
Methods
We conducted an unplanned interim analysis of data from a multicenter, randomized, open-label, registry-based clinical trial. At the time of the analysis, 2289 patients had been randomly assigned to treatment with drug-coated devices (the drug-coated-device group, 1149 patients) or treatment with uncoated devices (the uncoated-device group, 1140 patients). Randomization was stratified according to disease severity on the basis of whether patients had chronic limb-threatening ischemia (1480 patients) or intermittent claudication (809 patients). The single end point for this interim analysis was all-cause mortality.
Results
No patients were lost to follow-up. Paclitaxel was used as the coating agent for all the drug-coated devices. During a mean follow-up of 2.49 years, 574 patients died, including 293 patients (25.5%) in the drug-coated-device group and 281 patients (24.6%) in the uncoated-device group (hazard ratio, 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 0.92 to 1.22). At 1 year, all-cause mortality was 10.2% (117 patients) in the drug-coated-device group and 9.9% (113 patients) in the uncoated-device group. During the entire follow-up period, there was no significant difference in the incidence of death between the treatment groups among patients with chronic limb-threatening ischemia (33.4% [249 patients] in the drug-coated-device group and 33.1% [243 patients] in the uncoated-device group) or among those with intermittent claudication (10.9% [44 patients] and 9.4% [38 patients], respectively).
Conclusions
In this randomized trial in which patients with peripheral artery disease received treatment with paclitaxel-coated or uncoated endovascular devices, the results of an unplanned interim analysis of all-cause mortality did not show a difference between the groups in the incidence of death during 1 to 4 years of follow-up. (Funded by the Swedish Research Council and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02051088.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 08 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print
Nordanstig J, James S, Andersson M, Andersson M, ... Öjersjö A, Falkenberg M
N Engl J Med: 08 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33296560
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Post-Transcriptional Genetic Silencing of to Treat Sickle Cell Disease.

Esrick EB, Lehmann LE, Biffi A, Achebe M, ... Manis JP, Williams DA
Background
Sickle cell disease is characterized by hemolytic anemia, pain, and progressive organ damage. A high level of erythrocyte fetal hemoglobin (HbF) comprising α- and γ-globins may ameliorate these manifestations by mitigating sickle hemoglobin polymerization and erythrocyte sickling.is a repressor of γ-globin expression and HbF production in adult erythrocytes. Its down-regulation is a promising therapeutic strategy for induction of HbF.
Methods
We enrolled patients with sickle cell disease in a single-center, open-label pilot study. The investigational therapy involved infusion of autologous CD34+ cells transduced with the BCH-BB694 lentiviral vector, which encodes a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targetingmRNA embedded in a microRNA (shmiR), allowing erythroid lineage-specific knockdown. Patients were assessed for primary end points of engraftment and safety and for hematologic and clinical responses to treatment.
Results
As of October 2020, six patients had been followed for at least 6 months after receiving BCH-BB694 gene therapy; median follow-up was 18 months (range, 7 to 29). All patients had engraftment, and adverse events were consistent with effects of the preparative chemotherapy. All the patients who could be fully evaluated achieved robust and stable HbF induction (percentage HbF/(F+S) at most recent follow-up, 20.4 to 41.5%), with HbF broadly distributed in red cells (F-cells 58.9 to 93.6% of untransfused red cells) and HbF per F-cell of 9.0 to 18.6 pg per cell. Clinical manifestations of sickle cell disease were reduced or absent during the follow-up period.
Conclusions
This study validates BCL11A inhibition as an effective target for HbF induction and provides preliminary evidence that shmiR-based gene knockdown offers a favorable risk-benefit profile in sickle cell disease. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03282656).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 04 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print
Esrick EB, Lehmann LE, Biffi A, Achebe M, ... Manis JP, Williams DA
N Engl J Med: 04 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33283990
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing for Sickle Cell Disease and β-Thalassemia.

Frangoul H, Altshuler D, Cappellini MD, Chen YS, ... Yen A, Corbacioglu S

Transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia (TDT) and sickle cell disease (SCD) are severe monogenic diseases with severe and potentially life-threatening manifestations. BCL11A is a transcription factor that represses γ-globin expression and fetal hemoglobin in erythroid cells. We performed electroporation of CD34+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells obtained from healthy donors, with CRISPR-Cas9 targeting theerythroid-specific enhancer. Approximately 80% of the alleles at this locus were modified, with no evidence of off-target editing. After undergoing myeloablation, two patients - one with TDT and the other with SCD - received autologous CD34+ cells edited with CRISPR-Cas9 targeting the sameenhancer. More than a year later, both patients had high levels of allelic editing in bone marrow and blood, increases in fetal hemoglobin that were distributed pancellularly, transfusion independence, and (in the patient with SCD) elimination of vaso-occlusive episodes. (Funded by CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT03655678 for CLIMB THAL-111 and NCT03745287 for CLIMB SCD-121.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 04 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print
Frangoul H, Altshuler D, Cappellini MD, Chen YS, ... Yen A, Corbacioglu S
N Engl J Med: 04 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33283989
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Effect of Finerenone on Chronic Kidney Disease Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes.

Bakris GL, Agarwal R, Anker SD, Pitt B, ... Filippatos G,
Background
Finerenone, a nonsteroidal, selective mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist, reduced albuminuria in short-term trials involving patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and type 2 diabetes. However, its long-term effects on kidney and cardiovascular outcomes are unknown.
Methods
In this double-blind trial, we randomly assigned 5734 patients with CKD and type 2 diabetes in a 1:1 ratio to receive finerenone or placebo. Eligible patients had a urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (with albumin measured in milligrams and creatinine measured in grams) of 30 to less than 300, an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 25 to less than 60 ml per minute per 1.73 m of body-surface area, and diabetic retinopathy, or they had a urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio of 300 to 5000 and an eGFR of 25 to less than 75 ml per minute per 1.73 m. All the patients were treated with renin-angiotensin system blockade that had been adjusted before randomization to the maximum dose on the manufacturer\'s label that did not cause unacceptable side effects. The primary composite outcome, assessed in a time-to-event analysis, was kidney failure, a sustained decrease of at least 40% in the eGFR from baseline, or death from renal causes. The key secondary composite outcome, also assessed in a time-to-event analysis, was death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or hospitalization for heart failure.
Results
During a median follow-up of 2.6 years, a primary outcome event occurred in 504 of 2833 patients (17.8%) in the finerenone group and 600 of 2841 patients (21.1%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.73 to 0.93; P = 0.001). A key secondary outcome event occurred in 367 patients (13.0%) and 420 patients (14.8%) in the respective groups (hazard ratio, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.75 to 0.99; P = 0.03). Overall, the frequency of adverse events was similar in the two groups. The incidence of hyperkalemia-related discontinuation of the trial regimen was higher with finerenone than with placebo (2.3% and 0.9%, respectively).
Conclusions
In patients with CKD and type 2 diabetes, treatment with finerenone resulted in lower risks of CKD progression and cardiovascular events than placebo. (Funded by Bayer; FIDELIO-DKD ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02540993.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 02 Dec 2020; 383:2219-2229
Bakris GL, Agarwal R, Anker SD, Pitt B, ... Filippatos G,
N Engl J Med: 02 Dec 2020; 383:2219-2229 | PMID: 33264825
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Malaria Chemoprevention in the Postdischarge Management of Severe Anemia.

Kwambai TK, Dhabangi A, Idro R, Opoka R, ... Phiri KS, Ter Kuile FO
Background
Children who have been hospitalized with severe anemia in areas of Africa in which malaria is endemic have a high risk of readmission and death within 6 months after discharge. No prevention strategy specifically addresses this period.
Methods
We conducted a multicenter, two-group, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in nine hospitals in Kenya and Uganda to determine whether 3 months of malaria chemoprevention could reduce morbidity and mortality after hospital discharge in children younger than 5 years of age who had been admitted with severe anemia. All children received standard in-hospital care for severe anemia and a 3-day course of artemether-lumefantrine at discharge. Two weeks after discharge, children were randomly assigned to receive dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (chemoprevention group) or placebo, administered as 3-day courses at 2, 6, and 10 weeks after discharge. Children were followed for 26 weeks after discharge. The primary outcome was one or more hospital readmissions for any reason or death from the time of randomization to 6 months after discharge. Conditional risk-set modeling for recurrent events was used to calculate hazard ratios with the use of the Prentice-Williams-Peterson total-time approach.
Results
From May 2016 through May 2018, a total of 1049 children underwent randomization; 524 were assigned to the chemoprevention group and 525 to the placebo group. From week 3 through week 26, a total of 184 events of readmission or death occurred in the chemoprevention group and 316 occurred in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54 to 0.78; P<0.001). The lower incidence of readmission or death in the chemoprevention group than in the placebo group was restricted to the intervention period (week 3 through week 14) (hazard ratio, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.22 to 0.42) and was not sustained after that time (week 15 through week 26) (hazard ratio, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.87 to 1.47). No serious adverse events were attributed to dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine.
Conclusions
In areas with intense malaria transmission, 3 months of postdischarge malaria chemoprevention with monthly dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine in children who had recently received treatment for severe anemia prevented more deaths or readmissions for any reason after discharge than placebo. (Funded by the Research Council of Norway and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02671175.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 02 Dec 2020; 383:2242-2254
Kwambai TK, Dhabangi A, Idro R, Opoka R, ... Phiri KS, Ter Kuile FO
N Engl J Med: 02 Dec 2020; 383:2242-2254 | PMID: 33264546
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Repurposed Antiviral Drugs for Covid-19 - Interim WHO Solidarity Trial Results.

, Pan H, Peto R, Henao-Restrepo AM, ... Røttingen JA, Swaminathan S
Background
World Health Organization expert groups recommended mortality trials of four repurposed antiviral drugs - remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, and interferon beta-1a - in patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Methods
We randomly assigned inpatients with Covid-19 equally between one of the trial drug regimens that was locally available and open control (up to five options, four active and the local standard of care). The intention-to-treat primary analyses examined in-hospital mortality in the four pairwise comparisons of each trial drug and its control (drug available but patient assigned to the same care without that drug). Rate ratios for death were calculated with stratification according to age and status regarding mechanical ventilation at trial entry.
Results
At 405 hospitals in 30 countries, 11,330 adults underwent randomization; 2750 were assigned to receive remdesivir, 954 to hydroxychloroquine, 1411 to lopinavir (without interferon), 2063 to interferon (including 651 to interferon plus lopinavir), and 4088 to no trial drug. Adherence was 94 to 96% midway through treatment, with 2 to 6% crossover. In total, 1253 deaths were reported (median day of death, day 8; interquartile range, 4 to 14). The Kaplan-Meier 28-day mortality was 11.8% (39.0% if the patient was already receiving ventilation at randomization and 9.5% otherwise). Death occurred in 301 of 2743 patients receiving remdesivir and in 303 of 2708 receiving its control (rate ratio, 0.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81 to 1.11; P = 0.50), in 104 of 947 patients receiving hydroxychloroquine and in 84 of 906 receiving its control (rate ratio, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.89 to 1.59; P = 0.23), in 148 of 1399 patients receiving lopinavir and in 146 of 1372 receiving its control (rate ratio, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.79 to 1.25; P = 0.97), and in 243 of 2050 patients receiving interferon and in 216 of 2050 receiving its control (rate ratio, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.96 to 1.39; P = 0.11). No drug definitely reduced mortality, overall or in any subgroup, or reduced initiation of ventilation or hospitalization duration.
Conclusions
These remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, and interferon regimens had little or no effect on hospitalized patients with Covid-19, as indicated by overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay. (Funded by the World Health Organization; ISRCTN Registry number, ISRCTN83971151; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04315948.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 01 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print
, Pan H, Peto R, Henao-Restrepo AM, ... Røttingen JA, Swaminathan S
N Engl J Med: 01 Dec 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33264556
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

A Randomized Trial of Convalescent Plasma in Covid-19 Severe Pneumonia.

Simonovich VA, Burgos Pratx LD, Scibona P, Beruto MV, ... Belloso WH,
Background
Convalescent plasma is frequently administered to patients with Covid-19 and has been reported, largely on the basis of observational data, to improve clinical outcomes. Minimal data are available from adequately powered randomized, controlled trials.
Methods
We randomly assigned hospitalized adult patients with severe Covid-19 pneumonia in a 2:1 ratio to receive convalescent plasma or placebo. The primary outcome was the patient\'s clinical status 30 days after the intervention, as measured on a six-point ordinal scale ranging from total recovery to death.
Results
A total of 228 patients were assigned to receive convalescent plasma and 105 to receive placebo. The median time from the onset of symptoms to enrollment in the trial was 8 days (interquartile range, 5 to 10), and hypoxemia was the most frequent severity criterion for enrollment. The infused convalescent plasma had a median titer of 1:3200 of total SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (interquartile range, 1:800 to 1:3200]. No patients were lost to follow-up. At day 30 day, no significant difference was noted between the convalescent plasma group and the placebo group in the distribution of clinical outcomes according to the ordinal scale (odds ratio, 0.83 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52 to 1.35; P = 0.46). Overall mortality was 10.96% in the convalescent plasma group and 11.43% in the placebo group, for a risk difference of -0.46 percentage points (95% CI, -7.8 to 6.8). Total SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers tended to be higher in the convalescent plasma group at day 2 after the intervention. Adverse events and serious adverse events were similar in the two groups.
Conclusions
No significant differences were observed in clinical status or overall mortality between patients treated with convalescent plasma and those who received placebo. (PlasmAr ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04383535.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 23 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print
Simonovich VA, Burgos Pratx LD, Scibona P, Beruto MV, ... Belloso WH,
N Engl J Med: 23 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33232588
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

A Cluster-Randomized Trial of Hydroxychloroquine for Prevention of Covid-19.

Mitjà O, Corbacho-Monné M, Ubals M, Alemany A, ... Clotet B,
Background
Current strategies for preventing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are limited to nonpharmacologic interventions. Hydroxychloroquine has been proposed as a postexposure therapy to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), but definitive evidence is lacking.
Methods
We conducted an open-label, cluster-randomized trial involving asymptomatic contacts of patients with polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR)-confirmed Covid-19 in Catalonia, Spain. We randomly assigned clusters of contacts to the hydroxychloroquine group (which received the drug at a dose of 800 mg once, followed by 400 mg daily for 6 days) or to the usual-care group (which received no specific therapy). The primary outcome was PCR-confirmed, symptomatic Covid-19 within 14 days. The secondary outcome was SARS-CoV-2 infection, defined by symptoms compatible with Covid-19 or a positive PCR test regardless of symptoms. Adverse events were assessed for up to 28 days.
Results
The analysis included 2314 healthy contacts of 672 index case patients with Covid-19 who were identified between March 17 and April 28, 2020. A total of 1116 contacts were randomly assigned to receive hydroxychloroquine and 1198 to receive usual care. Results were similar in the hydroxychloroquine and usual-care groups with respect to the incidence of PCR-confirmed, symptomatic Covid-19 (5.7% and 6.2%, respectively; risk ratio, 0.86 [95% confidence interval, 0.52 to 1.42]). In addition, hydroxychloroquine was not associated with a lower incidence of SARS-CoV-2 transmission than usual care (18.7% and 17.8%, respectively). The incidence of adverse events was higher in the hydroxychloroquine group than in the usual-care group (56.1% vs. 5.9%), but no treatment-related serious adverse events were reported.
Conclusions
Postexposure therapy with hydroxychloroquine did not prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection or symptomatic Covid-19 in healthy persons exposed to a PCR-positive case patient. (Funded by the crowdfunding campaign YoMeCorono and others; BCN-PEP-CoV2 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04304053.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 23 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print
Mitjà O, Corbacho-Monné M, Ubals M, Alemany A, ... Clotet B,
N Engl J Med: 23 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33289973
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Effect of Hydroxychloroquine in Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19.

, Horby P, Mafham M, Linsell L, ... Haynes R, Landray MJ
Background
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have been proposed as treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on the basis of in vitro activity and data from uncontrolled studies and small, randomized trials.
Methods
In this randomized, controlled, open-label platform trial comparing a range of possible treatments with usual care in patients hospitalized with Covid-19, we randomly assigned 1561 patients to receive hydroxychloroquine and 3155 to receive usual care. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality.
Results
The enrollment of patients in the hydroxychloroquine group was closed on June 5, 2020, after an interim analysis determined that there was a lack of efficacy. Death within 28 days occurred in 421 patients (27.0%) in the hydroxychloroquine group and in 790 (25.0%) in the usual-care group (rate ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.97 to 1.23; P = 0.15). Consistent results were seen in all prespecified subgroups of patients. The results suggest that patients in the hydroxychloroquine group were less likely to be discharged from the hospital alive within 28 days than those in the usual-care group (59.6% vs. 62.9%; rate ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.98). Among the patients who were not undergoing mechanical ventilation at baseline, those in the hydroxychloroquine group had a higher frequency of invasive mechanical ventilation or death (30.7% vs. 26.9%; risk ratio, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.27). There was a small numerical excess of cardiac deaths (0.4 percentage points) but no difference in the incidence of new major cardiac arrhythmia among the patients who received hydroxychloroquine.
Conclusions
Among patients hospitalized with Covid-19, those who received hydroxychloroquine did not have a lower incidence of death at 28 days than those who received usual care. (Funded by UK Research and Innovation and National Institute for Health Research and others; RECOVERY ISRCTN number, ISRCTN50189673; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04381936.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 18 Nov 2020; 383:2030-2040
, Horby P, Mafham M, Linsell L, ... Haynes R, Landray MJ
N Engl J Med: 18 Nov 2020; 383:2030-2040 | PMID: 33031652
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Sotagliflozin in Patients with Diabetes and Recent Worsening Heart Failure.

Bhatt DL, Szarek M, Steg PG, Cannon CP, ... Pitt B,
Background
Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors reduce the risk of hospitalization for heart failure or death from cardiovascular causes among patients with stable heart failure. However, the safety and efficacy of SGLT2 inhibitors when initiated soon after an episode of decompensated heart failure are unknown.
Methods
We performed a multicenter, double-blind trial in which patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who were recently hospitalized for worsening heart failure were randomly assigned to receive sotagliflozin or placebo. The primary end point was the total number of deaths from cardiovascular causes and hospitalizations and urgent visits for heart failure (first and subsequent events). The trial ended early because of loss of funding from the sponsor.
Results
A total of 1222 patients underwent randomization (608 to the sotagliflozin group and 614 to the placebo group) and were followed for a median of 9.0 months; the first dose of sotagliflozin or placebo was administered before discharge in 48.8% and a median of 2 days after discharge in 51.2%. Among these patients, 600 primary end-point events occurred (245 in the sotagliflozin group and 355 in the placebo group). The rate (the number of events per 100 patient-years) of primary end-point events was lower in the sotagliflozin group than in the placebo group (51.0 vs. 76.3; hazard ratio, 0.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52 to 0.85; P<0.001). The rate of death from cardiovascular causes was 10.6 in the sotagliflozin group and 12.5 in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.58 to 1.22); the rate of death from any cause was 13.5 in the sotagliflozin group and 16.3 in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.59 to 1.14). Diarrhea was more common with sotagliflozin than with placebo (6.1% vs. 3.4%), as was severe hypoglycemia (1.5% vs. 0.3%). The percentage of patients with hypotension was similar in the sotagliflozin group and the placebo group (6.0% and 4.6%, respectively), as was the percentage with acute kidney injury (4.1% and 4.4%, respectively). The benefits of sotagliflozin were consistent in the prespecified subgroups of patients stratified according to the timing of the first dose.
Conclusions
In patients with diabetes and recent worsening heart failure, sotagliflozin therapy, initiated before or shortly after discharge, resulted in a significantly lower total number of deaths from cardiovascular causes and hospitalizations and urgent visits for heart failure than placebo. (Funded by Sanofi and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals; SOLOIST-WHF ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03521934.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 15 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print
Bhatt DL, Szarek M, Steg PG, Cannon CP, ... Pitt B,
N Engl J Med: 15 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33200892
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Sotagliflozin in Patients with Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease.

Bhatt DL, Szarek M, Pitt B, Cannon CP, ... Steg PG,
Background
The efficacy and safety of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors such as sotagliflozin in preventing cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes with chronic kidney disease with or without albuminuria have not been well studied.
Methods
We conducted a multicenter, double-blind trial in which patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (glycated hemoglobin level, ≥7%), chronic kidney disease (estimated glomerular filtration rate, 25 to 60 ml per minute per 1.73 m of body-surface area), and risks for cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive sotagliflozin or placebo. The primary end point was changed during the trial to the composite of the total number of deaths from cardiovascular causes, hospitalizations for heart failure, and urgent visits for heart failure. The trial ended early owing to loss of funding.
Results
Of 19,188 patients screened, 10,584 were enrolled, with 5292 assigned to the sotagliflozin group and 5292 assigned to the placebo group, and followed for a median of 16 months. The rate of primary end-point events was 5.6 events per 100 patient-years in the sotagliflozin group and 7.5 events per 100 patient-years in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63 to 0.88; P<0.001). The rate of deaths from cardiovascular causes per 100 patient-years was 2.2 with sotagliflozin and 2.4 with placebo (hazard ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.73 to 1.12; P = 0.35). For the original coprimary end point of the first occurrence of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke, the hazard ratio was 0.84 (95% CI, 0.72 to 0.99); for the original coprimary end point of the first occurrence of death from cardiovascular causes or hospitalization for heart failure, the hazard ratio was 0.77 (95% CI, 0.66 to 0.91). Diarrhea, genital mycotic infections, volume depletion, and diabetic ketoacidosis were more common with sotagliflozin than with placebo.
Conclusions
In patients with diabetes and chronic kidney disease, with or without albuminuria, sotagliflozin resulted in a lower risk of the composite of deaths from cardiovascular causes, hospitalizations for heart failure, and urgent visits for heart failure than placebo but was associated with adverse events. (Funded by Sanofi and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals; SCORED ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03315143.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 15 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print
Bhatt DL, Szarek M, Pitt B, Cannon CP, ... Steg PG,
N Engl J Med: 15 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33200891
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Phase 3 Trial of Interleukin-1 Trap Rilonacept in Recurrent Pericarditis.

Klein AL, Imazio M, Cremer P, Brucato A, ... Paolini JF,
Background
Interleukin-1 has been implicated as a mediator of recurrent pericarditis. The efficacy and safety of rilonacept, an interleukin-1α and interleukin-1β cytokine trap, were studied previously in a phase 2 trial involving patients with recurrent pericarditis.
Methods
We conducted a phase 3, multicenter, double-blind, event-driven, randomized-withdrawal trial of rilonacept in patients with acute symptoms of recurrent pericarditis (as assessed on a patient-reported scale) and systemic inflammation (as shown by an elevated C-reactive protein [CRP] level). Patients presenting with pericarditis recurrence while receiving standard therapy were enrolled in a 12-week run-in period, during which rilonacept was initiated and background medications were discontinued. Patients who had a clinical response (i.e., met prespecified response criteria) were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive continued rilonacept monotherapy or placebo, administered subcutaneously once weekly. The primary efficacy end point, assessed with a Cox proportional-hazards model, was the time to the first pericarditis recurrence. Safety was also assessed.
Results
A total of 86 patients with pericarditis pain and an elevated CRP level were enrolled in the run-in period. During the run-in period, the median time to resolution or near-resolution of pain was 5 days, and the median time to normalization of the CRP level was 7 days. A total of 61 patients underwent randomization. During the randomized-withdrawal period, there were too few recurrence events in the rilonacept group to allow for the median time to the first adjudicated recurrence to be calculated; the median time to the first adjudicated recurrence in the placebo group was 8.6 weeks (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.0 to 11.7; hazard ratio in a Cox proportional-hazards model, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.18; P<0.001 by the log-rank test). During this period, 2 of 30 patients (7%) in the rilonacept group had a pericarditis recurrence, as compared with 23 of 31 patients (74%) in the placebo group. In the run-in period, 4 patients had adverse events leading to the discontinuation of rilonacept therapy. The most common adverse events with rilonacept were injection-site reactions and upper respiratory tract infections.
Conclusions
Among patients with recurrent pericarditis, rilonacept led to rapid resolution of recurrent pericarditis episodes and to a significantly lower risk of pericarditis recurrence than placebo. (Funded by Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals; RHAPSODY ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03737110.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 15 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print
Klein AL, Imazio M, Cremer P, Brucato A, ... Paolini JF,
N Engl J Med: 15 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33200890
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Cryoablation or Drug Therapy for Initial Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation.

Andrade JG, Wells GA, Deyell MW, Bennett M, ... Verma A,
Background
Guidelines recommend a trial of one or more antiarrhythmic drugs before catheter ablation is considered in patients with atrial fibrillation. However, first-line ablation may be more effective in maintaining sinus rhythm.
Methods
We randomly assigned 303 patients with symptomatic, paroxysmal, untreated atrial fibrillation to undergo catheter ablation with a cryothermy balloon or to receive antiarrhythmic drug therapy for initial rhythm control. All the patients received an implantable cardiac monitoring device to detect atrial tachyarrhythmia. The follow-up period was 12 months. The primary end point was the first documented recurrence of any atrial tachyarrhythmia (atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, or atrial tachycardia) between 91 and 365 days after catheter ablation or the initiation of an antiarrhythmic drug. The secondary end points included freedom from symptomatic arrhythmia, the atrial fibrillation burden, and quality of life.
Results
At 1 year, a recurrence of atrial tachyarrhythmia had occurred in 66 of 154 patients (42.9%) assigned to undergo ablation and in 101 of 149 patients (67.8%) assigned to receive antiarrhythmic drugs (hazard ratio, 0.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35 to 0.66; P<0.001). Symptomatic atrial tachyarrhythmia had recurred in 11.0% of the patients who underwent ablation and in 26.2% of those who received antiarrhythmic drugs (hazard ratio, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.22 to 0.68). The median percentage of time in atrial fibrillation was 0% (interquartile range, 0 to 0.08) with ablation and 0.13% (interquartile range, 0 to 1.60) with antiarrhythmic drugs. Serious adverse events occurred in 5 patients (3.2%) who underwent ablation and in 6 patients (4.0%) who received antiarrhythmic drugs.
Conclusions
Among patients receiving initial treatment for symptomatic, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, there was a significantly lower rate of atrial fibrillation recurrence with catheter cryoballoon ablation than with antiarrhythmic drug therapy, as assessed by continuous cardiac rhythm monitoring. (Funded by the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada and others; EARLY-AF ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02825979.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 15 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print
Andrade JG, Wells GA, Deyell MW, Bennett M, ... Verma A,
N Engl J Med: 15 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33197159
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Cryoballoon Ablation as Initial Therapy for Atrial Fibrillation.

Wazni OM, Dandamudi G, Sood N, Hoyt R, ... Nissen SE,
Background
In patients with symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation that has not responded to medication, catheter ablation is more effective than antiarrhythmic drug therapy for maintaining sinus rhythm. However, the safety and efficacy of cryoballoon ablation as initial first-line therapy have not been established.
Methods
We performed a multicenter trial in which patients 18 to 80 years of age who had paroxysmal atrial fibrillation for which they had not previously received rhythm-control therapy were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive treatment with antiarrhythmic drugs (class I or III agents) or pulmonary vein isolation with a cryoballoon. Arrhythmia monitoring included 12-lead electrocardiography conducted at baseline and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months; patient-activated telephone monitoring conducted weekly and when symptoms were present during months 3 through 12; and 24-hour ambulatory monitoring conducted at 6 and 12 months. The primary efficacy end point was treatment success (defined as freedom from initial failure of the procedure or atrial arrhythmia recurrence after a 90-day blanking period to allow recovery from the procedure or drug dose adjustment, evaluated in a Kaplan-Meier analysis). The primary safety end point was assessed in the ablation group only and was a composite of several procedure-related and cryoballoon system-related serious adverse events.
Results
Of the 203 participants who underwent randomization and received treatment, 104 underwent ablation, and 99 initially received drug therapy. In the ablation group, initial success of the procedure was achieved in 97% of patients. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of the percentage of patients with treatment success at 12 months was 74.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 65.0 to 82.0) in the ablation group and 45.0% (95% CI, 34.6 to 54.7) in the drug-therapy group (P<0.001 by log-rank test). Two primary safety end-point events occurred in the ablation group (Kaplan-Meier estimate of the percentage of patients with an event within 12 months, 1.9%; 95% CI, 0.5 to 7.5).
Conclusions
Cryoballoon ablation as initial therapy was superior to drug therapy for the prevention of atrial arrhythmia recurrence in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Serious procedure-related adverse events were uncommon. (Supported by Medtronic; STOP AF First ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03118518.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 15 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print
Wazni OM, Dandamudi G, Sood N, Hoyt R, ... Nissen SE,
N Engl J Med: 15 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33197158
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Polypill with or without Aspirin in Persons without Cardiovascular Disease.

Yusuf S, Joseph P, Dans A, Gao P, ... Pais P,
Background
A polypill comprising statins, multiple blood-pressure-lowering drugs, and aspirin has been proposed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Methods
Using a 2-by-2-by-2 factorial design, we randomly assigned participants without cardiovascular disease who had an elevated INTERHEART Risk Score to receive a polypill (containing 40 mg of simvastatin, 100 mg of atenolol, 25 mg of hydrochlorothiazide, and 10 mg of ramipril) or placebo daily, aspirin (75 mg) or placebo daily, and vitamin D or placebo monthly. We report here the outcomes for the polypill alone as compared with matching placebo, for aspirin alone as compared with matching placebo, and for the polypill plus aspirin as compared with double placebo. For the polypill-alone and polypill-plus-aspirin comparisons, the primary outcome was death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, stroke, resuscitated cardiac arrest, heart failure, or revascularization. For the aspirin comparison, the primary outcome was death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, or stroke. Safety was also assessed.
Results
A total of 5713 participants underwent randomization, and the mean follow-up was 4.6 years. The low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was lower by approximately 19 mg per deciliter and systolic blood pressure was lower by approximately 5.8 mm Hg with the polypill and with combination therapy than with placebo. The primary outcome for the polypill comparison occurred in 126 participants (4.4%) in the polypill group and in 157 (5.5%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63 to 1.00). The primary outcome for the aspirin comparison occurred in 116 participants (4.1%) in the aspirin group and in 134 (4.7%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.67 to 1.10). The primary outcome for the polypill-plus-aspirin comparison occurred in 59 participants (4.1%) in the combined-treatment group and in 83 (5.8%) in the double-placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.69; CI, 0.50 to 0.97). The incidence of hypotension or dizziness was higher in groups that received the polypill than in their respective placebo groups.
Conclusions
Combined treatment with a polypill plus aspirin led to a lower incidence of cardiovascular events than did placebo among participants without cardiovascular disease who were at intermediate cardiovascular risk. (Funded by the Wellcome Trust and others; TIPS-3 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01646437.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 12 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print
Yusuf S, Joseph P, Dans A, Gao P, ... Pais P,
N Engl J Med: 12 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33186492
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Cardiac Myosin Activation with Omecamtiv Mecarbil in Systolic Heart Failure.

Teerlink JR, Diaz R, Felker GM, McMurray JJV, ... Kurtz CE,
Background
The selective cardiac myosin activator omecamtiv mecarbil has been shown to improve cardiac function in patients with heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction. Its effect on cardiovascular outcomes is unknown.
Methods
We randomly assigned 8256 patients (inpatients and outpatients) with symptomatic chronic heart failure and an ejection fraction of 35% or less to receive omecamtiv mecarbil (using pharmacokinetic-guided doses of 25 mg, 37.5 mg, or 50 mg twice daily) or placebo, in addition to standard heart-failure therapy. The primary outcome was a composite of a first heart-failure event (hospitalization or urgent visit for heart failure) or death from cardiovascular causes.
Results
During a median of 21.8 months, a primary-outcome event occurred in 1523 of 4120 patients (37.0%) in the omecamtiv mecarbil group and in 1607 of 4112 patients (39.1%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.86 to 0.99; P = 0.03). A total of 808 patients (19.6%) and 798 patients (19.4%), respectively, died from cardiovascular causes (hazard ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.11). There was no significant difference between groups in the change from baseline on the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire total symptom score. At week 24, the change from baseline for the median N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide level was 10% lower in the omecamtiv mecarbil group than in the placebo group; the median cardiac troponin I level was 4 ng per liter higher. The frequency of cardiac ischemic and ventricular arrhythmia events was similar in the two groups.
Conclusions
Among patients with heart failure and a reduced ejection, those who received omecamtiv mecarbil had a lower incidence of a composite of a heart-failure event or death from cardiovascular causes than those who received placebo. (Funded by Amgen and others; GALACTIC-HF ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02929329; EudraCT number, 2016-002299-28.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 12 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print
Teerlink JR, Diaz R, Felker GM, McMurray JJV, ... Kurtz CE,
N Engl J Med: 12 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33185990
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

A Placebo-Controlled Trial of Subcutaneous Semaglutide in Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis.

Newsome PN, Buchholtz K, Cusi K, Linder M, ... Harrison SA,
Background
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a common disease that is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, but treatment options are limited. The efficacy and safety of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist semaglutide in patients with NASH is not known.
Methods
We conducted a 72-week, double-blind phase 2 trial involving patients with biopsy-confirmed NASH and liver fibrosis of stage F1, F2, or F3. Patients were randomly assigned, in a 3:3:3:1:1:1 ratio, to receive once-daily subcutaneous semaglutide at a dose of 0.1, 0.2, or 0.4 mg or corresponding placebo. The primary end point was resolution of NASH with no worsening of fibrosis. The confirmatory secondary end point was an improvement of at least one fibrosis stage with no worsening of NASH. The analyses of these end points were performed only in patients with stage F2 or F3 fibrosis; other analyses were performed in all the patients.
Results
In total, 320 patients (of whom 230 had stage F2 or F3 fibrosis) were randomly assigned to receive semaglutide at a dose of 0.1 mg (80 patients), 0.2 mg (78 patients), or 0.4 mg (82 patients) or to receive placebo (80 patients). The percentage of patients in whom NASH resolution was achieved with no worsening of fibrosis was 40% in the 0.1-mg group, 36% in the 0.2-mg group, 59% in the 0.4-mg group, and 17% in the placebo group (P<0.001 for semaglutide 0.4 mg vs. placebo). An improvement in fibrosis stage occurred in 43% of the patients in the 0.4-mg group and in 33% of the patients in the placebo group (P = 0.48). The mean percent weight loss was 13% in the 0.4-mg group and 1% in the placebo group. The incidence of nausea, constipation, and vomiting was higher in the 0.4-mg group than in the placebo group (nausea, 42% vs. 11%; constipation, 22% vs. 12%; and vomiting, 15% vs. 2%). Malignant neoplasms were reported in 3 patients who received semaglutide (1%) and in no patients who received placebo. Overall, neoplasms (benign, malignant, or unspecified) were reported in 15% of the patients in the semaglutide groups and in 8% in the placebo group; no pattern of occurrence in specific organs was observed.
Conclusions
This phase 2 trial involving patients with NASH showed that treatment with semaglutide resulted in a significantly higher percentage of patients with NASH resolution than placebo. However, the trial did not show a significant between-group difference in the percentage of patients with an improvement in fibrosis stage. (Funded by Novo Nordisk; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02970942.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 12 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print
Newsome PN, Buchholtz K, Cusi K, Linder M, ... Harrison SA,
N Engl J Med: 12 Nov 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33185364
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibody LY-CoV555 in Outpatients with Covid-19.

Chen P, Nirula A, Heller B, Gottlieb RL, ... Skovronsky DM,
Background
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), which is most frequently mild yet can be severe and life-threatening. Virus-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies are predicted to reduce viral load, ameliorate symptoms, and prevent hospitalization.
Methods
In this ongoing phase 2 trial involving outpatients with recently diagnosed mild or moderate Covid-19, we randomly assigned 452 patients to receive a single intravenous infusion of neutralizing antibody LY-CoV555 in one of three doses (700 mg, 2800 mg, or 7000 mg) or placebo and evaluated the quantitative virologic end points and clinical outcomes. The primary outcome was the change from baseline in the viral load at day 11. The results of a preplanned interim analysis as of September 5, 2020, are reported here.
Results
At the time of the interim analysis, the observed mean decrease from baseline in the log viral load for the entire population was -3.81, for an elimination of more than 99.97% of viral RNA. For patients who received the 2800-mg dose of LY-CoV555, the difference from placebo in the decrease from baseline was -0.53 (95% confidence interval [CI], -0.98 to -0.08; P = 0.02), for a viral load that was lower by a factor of 3.4. Smaller differences from placebo in the change from baseline were observed among the patients who received the 700-mg dose (-0.20; 95% CI, -0.66 to 0.25; P = 0.38) or the 7000-mg dose (0.09; 95% CI, -0.37 to 0.55; P = 0.70). On days 2 to 6, the patients who received LY-CoV555 had a slightly lower severity of symptoms than those who received placebo. The percentage of patients who had a Covid-19-related hospitalization or visit to an emergency department was 1.6% in the LY-CoV555 group and 6.3% in the placebo group.
Conclusions
In this interim analysis of a phase 2 trial, one of three doses of neutralizing antibody LY-CoV555 appeared to accelerate the natural decline in viral load over time, whereas the other doses had not by day 11. (Funded by Eli Lilly; BLAZE-1 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04427501.).

Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 27 Oct 2020; epub ahead of print
Chen P, Nirula A, Heller B, Gottlieb RL, ... Skovronsky DM,
N Engl J Med: 27 Oct 2020; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33113295
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:

This program is still in alpha version.