Background: Thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy, a condition commonly associated with Graves' disease, remains inadequately treated. Current medical therapies, which primarily consist of glucocorticoids, have limited efficacy and present safety concerns. Inhibition of the insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR) is a new therapeutic strategy to attenuate the underlying autoimmune pathogenesis of ophthalmopathy.
Methods: We conducted a multicenter, double-masked, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to determine the efficacy and safety of teprotumumab, a human monoclonal antibody inhibitor of IGF-IR, in patients with active, moderate-to-severe ophthalmopathy. A total of 88 patients were randomly assigned to receive placebo or active drug administered intravenously once every 3 weeks for a total of eight infusions. The primary end point was the response in the study eye. This response was defined as a reduction of 2 points or more in the Clinical Activity Score (scores range from 0 to 7, with a score of ≥3 indicating active thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy) and a reduction of 2 mm or more in proptosis at week 24. Secondary end points, measured as continuous variables, included proptosis, the Clinical Activity Score, and results on the Graves' ophthalmopathy-specific quality-of-life questionnaire. Adverse events were assessed.
Results: In the intention-to-treat population, 29 of 42 patients who received teprotumumab (69%), as compared with 9 of 45 patients who received placebo (20%), had a response at week 24 (P<0.001). Therapeutic effects were rapid; at week 6, a total of 18 of 42 patients in the teprotumumab group (43%) and 2 of 45 patients in the placebo group (4%) had a response (P<0.001). Differences between the groups increased at subsequent time points. The only drug-related adverse event was hyperglycemia in patients with diabetes; this event was controlled by adjusting medication for diabetes.
Conclusions: In patients with active ophthalmopathy, teprotumumab was more effective than placebo in reducing proptosis and the Clinical Activity Score. (Funded by River Vision Development and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01868997 .).