The main aim of the study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety profile of ocrelizumab (OCR), rituximab (RTX), and cladribine (CLA), employed as natalizumab (NTZ) exit strategies in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients at high-risk for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). This is a multicentre, retrospective, real-world study on consecutive RRMS patients from eleven tertiary Italian MS centres, who switched from NTZ to OCR, RTX, and CLA from January 1st, 2019, to December 31st, 2019. The primary study outcomes were the annualized relapse rate (ARR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) outcome. Treatment effects were estimated by the inverse probability treatment weighting (IPTW), based on propensity-score (PS) approach. Additional endpoint included confirmed disability progression (CDP) as measured by Expanded Disability Status Scale and adverse events (AEs). Patients satisfying predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria were 120; 64 switched to OCR, 36 to RTX, and 20 to CLA. Patients from the 3 groups did not show differences for baseline characteristics, also after post hoc analysis. The IPTW PS-adjusted models revealed that patients on OCR had a lower risk for ARR than patients on CLA (ExpBOCR 0.485, CI 95% 0.264-0.893, p=0.020). This result was confirmed also for 12-month MRI activity (ExpBOCR 0.248 CI 95% 0.065-0.948, p=0.042). No differences were found in other pairwise comparisons (OCR vs RTX and RTX vs CLA) for the investigated outcomes. AEs were similar among the 3 groups. Anti-CD20 drugs were revealed to be effective and safe options as NTZ exit strategies. All investigated DMTs showed a good safety profile.
- Disease activity
- Exit strategy