OCTOBER 17, 2021 • INVESTOR RELATIONS
- In the Phase 3 VALOR study, the primary endpoint as measured by the Revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) did not reach statistical significance; however, signs of reduced disease progression across multiple secondary and exploratory endpoints were observed
- The totality of evidence from VALOR and its ongoing open-label extension showed that participants who started tofersen earlier experienced better outcomes, further suggesting a positive clinical effect
- Topline data being presented today at the American Neurological Association 2021 Annual Meeting
- Given the high unmet medical need, Biogen will expand its ongoing early access program (EAP) to the broader SOD1-ALS population
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 17, 2021 — Biogen Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) today announced topline results from its pivotal Phase 3 VALOR study of tofersen (BIIB067), an investigational antisense drug being evaluated for people with superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). While tofersen did not meet the primary endpoint of change from baseline to week 28 in the Revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R), trends favoring tofersen were seen across multiple secondary and exploratory measures of biologic activity and clinical function.
In addition, a pre-specified integration of data from VALOR and its ongoing open-label extension study (OLE) reinforced these findings and showed that early tofersen initiation led to less decline across multiple measures of motor function, respiratory function, muscle strength, and quality of life in people with SOD1-ALS. Most adverse events in both VALOR and OLE were mild to moderate in severity, including procedural pain, headache, pain in extremity, fall and back pain.
Biogen is actively engaging with regulators, the medical community, patient advocacy groups and other key stakeholders around the world to determine potential next steps.
“The results from the VALOR study are encouraging as they show reduction of SOD1 protein, reduction of neurofilament, a potential biomarker for neurodegenerative disease, and positive signals across multiple key endpoints including measures of important aspects of the daily lives of SOD1-ALS patients,” said Timothy Miller, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator of VALOR and ALS Center Director at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. “The wait for new options has been long and difficult for the ALS community, and we welcome this important research advancement in this difficult to treat disease space.”
“Data from the tofersen Phase 3 study and its open-label extension showed signs of slowing disease progression in people with SOD1-ALS, a rare, devastating disease that leads to loss of everyday functions and ultimately death,” said Alfred Sandrock, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Head of Research and Development at Biogen. “Following discussions with investigators, bioethicists, and having listened to the voice of patient advocacy groups, we will broaden early access to tofersen to all eligible SOD1-ALS patients through our already established expanded access program. We are grateful for the courageous efforts of patients, families, advocates, and the scientific community who have contributed to this important research.”
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is uniformly fatal with an average survival of three to five years. The most common cause of death is respiratory failure. SOD1-ALS is a rare, genetic form of ALS that accounts for approximately two percent of the estimated 168,000 people who have the disease globally. Currently, there are no genetically targeted treatment options for ALS.
Click here for a fact sheet to learn more about genetic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS):
In light of the critical unmet need, Biogen will expand eligibility for its ongoing early access program (EAP) to all people with SOD1-ALS, in countries where such programs are permitted by local regulations and future access may be secured. EAP programs enable patients to gain access to a medicine free of charge before the treatment is licensed commercially. If a clear path forward for tofersen is not established, or if another controlled trial is required by regulators, Biogen may revise or discontinue the EAP.
The VALOR and Open-Label Extension Studies
VALOR was a 28-week Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability, pharmacodynamic, and biomarker effects of tofersen 100 mg in adults with ALS associated with a SOD1 mutation. In total, 108 participants were randomized in VALOR (n=72 to tofersen 100 mg and n=36 to placebo). Sixty of these participants met the study’s protocol-defined enrichment criteria for rapid disease progression, comprising the primary analysis population (“faster progressing”). Forty-eight participants did not meet these prognostic enrichment criteria (“slower progressing”).
The open-label extension study is an ongoing Phase 3 study for participants who completed VALOR. Of the 108 participants in VALOR, 95 enrolled in the OLE.
In VALOR the primary efficacy endpoint of change from baseline to week 28 in the Revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) total score in the primary analysis (faster-progressing) population did not reach statistical significance as measured by a joint-rank analysis (difference of 1.2; p=0.97).
Trends favoring tofersen were seen across multiple secondary and exploratory measures of biologic activity and clinical function, including motor function, respiratory function, and quality of life. On the first key secondary endpoint of change from baseline in total CSF SOD1 protein, a marker of target engagement, differences were observed between the tofersen and placebo groups of 38% and 26% in the faster- and slower-progressing populations, respectively. On the second key secondary endpoint of change from baseline in plasma neurofilament light chain (NfL), a potential marker of neuronal degeneration, differences were observed between the tofersen and placebo groups of 67% and 48% in the faster- and slower-progressing populations, respectively.
In the faster-progressing population, trends favored tofersen on measures of respiratory function (Slow Vital Capacity (SVC); difference of 7.9 percent-predicted) and muscle strength (Hand-held dynamometer (HHD); difference of 0.02). Similar trends were observed across multiple exploratory patient-reported outcome measures of disease severity, quality of life, and fatigue. Median time to event could not be estimated for survival analyses due to the low number of events over the 28-week period.
In addition, with longer-term follow up in the OLE, earlier tofersen initiation consistently led to a reduction in decline in measures of clinical function across the population.
The most common adverse events (AEs) in participants receiving tofersen in the VALOR study were procedural pain, headache, pain in extremity, fall and back pain. Most AEs in both VALOR and the OLE were mild to moderate in severity. In VALOR, serious AEs were reported in 18.1% of participants receiving tofersen and 13.9% of those receiving placebo. In the tofersen group, 5.6% of participants discontinued treatment due to an AE. There were no discontinuations due to AEs in the placebo group. Serious neurologic events were reported in 4.8% of patients receiving tofersen in VALOR and its OLE, including 2 cases of myelitis (2.0%). There was one death reported in the tofersen-treated group in VALOR, which was determined not to be related to tofersen.