Background: Inebilizumab is an anti-CD19 antibody approved for the treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) in adults with aquaporin-4 autoantibodies. The relationship between B-cell, plasma-cell (PC), and immunoglobulin depletion with longitudinal reductions in NMOSD activity after inebilizumab treatment was characterised post hoc in an exploratory analysis from the N-MOmentum study (NCT02200770). Methods: Peripheral blood CD20+ B cells, PC gene signature, and immunoglobulin levels were assessed throughout N-MOmentum (follow-up ≥2.5 years); correlations with clinical metrics and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) lesion activity were assessed. Findings: Inebilizumab induced durable B-cell and PC depletion within 1 week versus placebo. Although no association was observed between B-cell counts at time of attack and NMOSD activity, depth of B-cell depletion after the first dosing period correlated with clinical outcomes. All participants receiving inebilizumab demonstrated a robust long-term therapeutic response, and participants with ≤4 cells/μL after the first 6-month dosing interval had persistently deeper B-cell depletion, lower annualised attack rates (estimated rate [95% CI]: 0.034 [0.024–0.04] vs 0.086 [0.056–0.12]; p = 0.045), fewer new/enlarging T2 MRI lesions (0.49 [0.43–0.56] vs 1.36 [1.12–1.61]; p < 0.0001), and a trend towards decreased Expanded Disability Status Scale worsening (0.076 [0.06–0.10] vs 0.14 [0.10–0.18]; p = 0.093). Antibodies to inebilizumab, although present in a proportion of treated participants, did not alter outcomes. Interpretation: This analysis suggests that compared with placebo, inebilizumab can provide specific, rapid, and durable depletion of B cells in participants with NMOSD. Although deep and persistent CD20+ B-cell depletion correlates with long-term clinical stability, early, deep B-cell depletion correlates with improved disease activity metrics in the first 2 years. Funding: Horizon Therapeutics (formerly from Viela Bio/MedImmune).
- Anti-CD19 monoclonal antibody
- Aquaporin-4 antibody-positive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder
- B-cell suppression
- Devic disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)