Background: No approved therapies exist for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), a rare, relapsing, autoimmune, inflammatory disease of the CNS that causes blindness and paralysis. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of inebilizumab, an anti-CD19, B cell-depleting antibody, in reducing the risk of attacks and disability in NMOSD. Methods: We did a multicentre, double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled phase 2/3 study at 99 outpatient specialty clinics or hospitals in 25 countries. Eligible participants were adults (≥18 years old) with a diagnosis of NMOSD, an Expanded Disability Status Scale score of 8·0 or less, and a history of at least one attack requiring rescue therapy in the year before screening or at least two attacks requiring rescue therapy in the 2 years before screening. Participants were randomly allocated (3:1) to 300 mg intravenous inebilizumab or placebo with a central interactive voice response system or interactive web response system and permuted block randomisation. Inebilizumab or placebo was administered on days 1 and 15. Participants, investigators, and all clinical staff were masked to the treatments, and inebilizumab and placebo were indistinguishable in appearance. The primary endpoint was time to onset of an NMOSD attack, as determined by the adjudication committee. Efficacy endpoints were assessed in all randomly allocated patients who received at least one dose of study intervention, and safety endpoints were assessed in the as-treated population. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02200770. Findings: Between Jan 6, 2015, and Sept 24, 2018, 230 participants were randomly assigned to treatment and dosed, with 174 participants receiving inebilizumab and 56 receiving placebo. The randomised controlled period was stopped before complete enrolment, as recommended by the independent data-monitoring committee, because of a clear demonstration of efficacy. 21 (12%) of 174 participants receiving inebilizumab had an attack versus 22 (39%) of 56 participants receiving placebo (hazard ratio 0·272 [95% CI 0·150–0·496]; p<0·0001). Adverse events occurred in 125 (72%) of 174 participants receiving inebilizumab and 41 (73%) of 56 participants receiving placebo. Serious adverse events occurred in eight (5%) of 174 participants receiving inebilizumab and five (9%) of 56 participants receiving placebo. Interpretation: Compared with placebo, inebilizumab reduced the risk of an NMOSD attack. Inebilizumab has potential application as an evidence-based treatment for patients with NMOSD. Funding: MedImmune and Viela Bio.
ASJC Scopus subject areas