The objective of this study was to compare the analgesic efficacy of tanezumab versus placebo in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. This was a 32-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III trial (NCT00733902). The patient criteria included diagnosis of OA; Western Ontario and McMaster Universities OA Index (WOMAC) Pain and Physical Function subscale scores of ≥5 and ≥4, respectively; Patient's Global Assessment of Osteoarthritis (PGA) ≥3; and failure of nonopiate pain medications or candidacy for invasive interventions. Patients received 3 intravenous doses of tanezumab (2.5, 5, or 10 mg) or placebo. The co-primary efficacy end points were changes in WOMAC subscales and PGA at week 16. Adverse events were monitored throughout. Overall, 690 patients (61% female) were randomized and treated. Those treated with tanezumab showed significant improvement in the 3 co-primary end points (P ≤ .015 for all). The incidence of adverse events was 55 to 60% for tanezumab-treated patients versus 48% for placebo-treated patients. Joint replacement was reported in 4 patients, 1 in each treatment group; a total of 5 joints were replaced (1 index knee and 4 hips). The tanezumab OA clinical program is currently on clinical hold due to potential adverse reactions leading to joint replacement.
Perspective: This is the first phase III randomized, controlled trial to demonstrate that nerve growth factor blockade by tanezumab has superior analgesic efficacy in OA of the knee compared with placebo. Tanezumab was well tolerated, and reports of worsening OA and/or joint replacement were evenly distributed across the treatment groups.
Copyright © 2012 American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.