Inotersen Treatment for Patients with Hereditary Transthyretin Amyloidosis

N Engl J Med. 2018 Jul 5;379(1):22-31. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1716793.


Background: Hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis is caused by pathogenic single-nucleotide variants in the gene encoding transthyretin ( TTR) that induce transthyretin misfolding and systemic deposition of amyloid. Progressive amyloid accumulation leads to multiorgan dysfunction and death. Inotersen, a 2'- O-methoxyethyl-modified antisense oligonucleotide, inhibits hepatic production of transthyretin.

Methods: We conducted an international, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 15-month, phase 3 trial of inotersen in adults with stage 1 (patient is ambulatory) or stage 2 (patient is ambulatory with assistance) hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis with polyneuropathy. Patients were randomly assigned, in a 2:1 ratio, to receive weekly subcutaneous injections of inotersen (300 mg) or placebo. The primary end points were the change in the modified Neuropathy Impairment Score+7 (mNIS+7; range, -22.3 to 346.3, with higher scores indicating poorer function; minimal clinically meaningful change, 2 points) and the change in the score on the patient-reported Norfolk Quality of Life-Diabetic Neuropathy (QOL-DN) questionnaire (range, -4 to 136, with higher scores indicating poorer quality of life). A decrease in scores indicated improvement.

Results: A total of 172 patients (112 in the inotersen group and 60 in the placebo group) received at least one dose of a trial regimen, and 139 (81%) completed the intervention period. Both primary efficacy assessments favored inotersen: the difference in the least-squares mean change from baseline to week 66 between the two groups (inotersen minus placebo) was -19.7 points (95% confidence interval [CI], -26.4 to -13.0; P<0.001) for the mNIS+7 and -11.7 points (95% CI, -18.3 to -5.1; P<0.001) for the Norfolk QOL-DN score. These improvements were independent of disease stage, mutation type, or the presence of cardiomyopathy. There were five deaths in the inotersen group and none in the placebo group. The most frequent serious adverse events in the inotersen group were glomerulonephritis (in 3 patients [3%]) and thrombocytopenia (in 3 patients [3%]), with one death associated with one of the cases of grade 4 thrombocytopenia. Thereafter, all patients received enhanced monitoring.

Conclusions: Inotersen improved the course of neurologic disease and quality of life in patients with hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis. Thrombocytopenia and glomerulonephritis were managed with enhanced monitoring. (Funded by Ionis Pharmaceuticals; NEURO-TTR number, NCT01737398 .).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amyloid Neuropathies, Familial / blood
  • Amyloid Neuropathies, Familial / complications
  • Amyloid Neuropathies, Familial / therapy*
  • Disease Progression
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / adverse effects
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / therapeutic use*
  • Polyneuropathies / etiology
  • Polyneuropathies / therapy
  • Prealbumin / analysis
  • Prealbumin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Prealbumin / genetics
  • Quality of Life
  • RNAi Therapeutics*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Thrombocytopenia / chemically induced


  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • Prealbumin

Supplementary concepts

  • Amyloidosis, Hereditary, Transthyretin-Related

Associated data