Teriflunomide versus subcutaneous interferon beta-1a in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis: a randomised, controlled phase 3 trial

Mult Scler. 2014 May;20(6):705-16. doi: 10.1177/1352458513507821. Epub 2013 Oct 14.


Background: In previous studies, teriflunomide significantly reduced the annualised relapse rate (ARR) and disability progression.

Objective: This phase 3, rater-blinded study (NCT00883337) compared teriflunomide with interferon-beta-1a (IFNβ-1a).

Methods: Patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis were randomised (1:1:1) to oral teriflunomide 7-or 14 mg, or subcutaneous IFNβ-1a 44 µg. The primary composite endpoint was time to failure, defined as first occurrence of confirmed relapse or permanent treatment discontinuation for any cause. Secondary endpoints included ARR, Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS) and Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication (TSQM). The study was completed 48 weeks after the last patient was randomised.

Results: Some 324 patients were randomised (IFNβ-1a: 104; teriflunomide 7 mg: 109; teriflunomide 14 mg: 111). No difference in time to failure was observed. There was no difference in ARR between teriflunomide 14 mg and IFNβ-1a, but ARR was significantly higher with teriflunomide 7 mg. FIS scores indicated more frequent fatigue with IFNβ-1a, though differences were only significant with teriflunomide 7 mg. TSQM scores were significantly higher with teriflunomide. There were no unexpected safety findings.

Conclusion: Effects on time to failure were comparable between teriflunomide and IFNβ-1a. There was no difference between teriflunomide 14 mg and IFNβ-1a on ARR, though ARR was higher with teriflunomide 7 mg. The teriflunomide safety profile was consistent with previous studies.

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis; acute relapsing; disease-modifying therapy; pharmacologic therapy; relapsing–remitting; teriflunomide.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Crotonates / administration & dosage
  • Crotonates / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxybutyrates
  • Interferon beta-1a
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / drug therapy*
  • Nitriles
  • Recurrence
  • Toluidines / administration & dosage
  • Toluidines / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Crotonates
  • Hydroxybutyrates
  • Nitriles
  • Toluidines
  • teriflunomide
  • Interferon-beta
  • Interferon beta-1a

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00883337