A randomized, controlled trial of fingolimod (FTY720) in Japanese patients with multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler. 2012 Sep;18(9):1269-77. doi: 10.1177/1352458511435984. Epub 2012 Feb 21.


Background: Fingolimod (FTY720) has previously shown clinical efficacy in phase II/III studies of predominantly Caucasian populations with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Objectives: To report six-month efficacy and safety outcomes in Japanese patients with relapsing MS treated with fingolimod.

Methods: In this double-blind, parallel-group, phase II study, 171 Japanese patients with relapsing MS were randomized to receive once-daily fingolimod 0.5 mg or 1.25 mg, or matching placebo for six months. The primary and secondary endpoints were the percentages of patients free from gadolinium (Gd)-enhanced lesions at months 3 and 6, and relapses over six months, respectively; safety outcomes were also assessed.

Results: 147 patients completed the study. Higher proportions of patients were free from Gd-enhanced lesions at months 3 and 6 with fingolimod (0.5 mg: 70%, p = 0.004; 1.25 mg: 86%, p < 0.001) than with placebo (40%). Odds ratios for the proportions of relapse-free patients over six months favoured fingolimod versus placebo but were not significant. Adverse events related to fingolimod included transient bradycardia and atrioventricular block at treatment initiation, and elevated liver enzyme levels.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the clinical efficacy of fingolimod for the first time in Japanese patients with MS, consistent with the established effects of fingolimod in Caucasian patients.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00537082.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asians
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Fingolimod Hydrochloride
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / diagnosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / ethnology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Propylene Glycols / administration & dosage
  • Propylene Glycols / adverse effects
  • Propylene Glycols / therapeutic use*
  • Recurrence
  • Sphingosine / administration & dosage
  • Sphingosine / adverse effects
  • Sphingosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sphingosine / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Propylene Glycols
  • Fingolimod Hydrochloride
  • Sphingosine

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00537082