Safety and Efficacy of Edonerpic Maleate for Patients With Mild to Moderate Alzheimer Disease: A Phase 2 Randomized Clinical Trial

JAMA Neurol. 2019 Nov 1;76(11):1330-1339. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.1868.


Importance: Edonerpic maleate (T-817MA) protects against Aβ40-induced neurotoxic effects and memory deficits, promotes neurite outgrowth, and preserves hippocampal synapses and spatial memory in tau transgenic mice. These effects may be mediated via sigma-1 receptor activation, delivery of synaptic AMPA receptors, or modulation of microglial function and may benefit patients with Alzheimer disease.

Objective: To assess the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of edonerpic for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease.

Design, setting, and participants: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, phase 2 clinical trial conducted over 52 weeks from June 2, 2014, to December 14, 2016, at 52 US clinical and academic centers. Of 822 outpatients screened, 484 met the following criteria and were randomly assigned to treatment: 55 to 85 years of age, probable Alzheimer disease, Mini-Mental State Examination scores from 12 to 22, and taking stable doses of donepezil or rivastigmine with or without memantine.

Interventions: Random assignment (1:1:1 allocation) to placebo or 224 mg or 448 mg of edonerpic maleate, once per day.

Main outcomes and measures: Coprimary outcomes were scores on the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-cog) and Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Clinical Impression of Change (ADCS-CGIC) at week 52. Biomarkers were brain, lateral ventricular, and hippocampal volumes, as determined on magnetic resonance imaging, and cerebrospinal fluid Aβ40, Aβ42, total tau, and phospho-tau181. The primary efficacy analysis was performed on the coprimary end points for the modified intention-to-treat population.

Results: Of 482 participants in the safety population, 140 of 158 participants (88.6%) assigned to placebo, 117 of 166 participants (70.5%) to 224 mg of edonerpic maleate, and 120 of 158 participants (76.0%) to 448 mg of edonerpic maleate completed the trial. The mean ADAS-cog score change at week 52 was 7.91 for the placebo group, 7.45 for the 224-mg group, and 7.08 for the 448-mg group. Mean differences from placebo were -0.47 (95% CI, -2.36 to 1.43; P = .63) for the 224-mg group and -0.84 (95% CI, -2.75 to 1.08; P = .39) for the 448-mg group. Mean ADCS-CGIC scores were 5.22 for the placebo group, 5.24 for the 224-mg group, and 5.25 for the 448-mg group, with mean differences from placebo of 0.03 (95% CI, -0.20 to 0.25; P = .81) for the 224-mg group and 0.04 (95% CI, -0.19 to 0.26; P = .76) for the 448-mg group. In the safety population, a total of 7 of 158 participants (4.4%) in the placebo group, 23 of 166 participants (13.9%) in the 224-mg group, and 23 of 158 participants (14.6%) in the 448-mg group discontinued because of adverse events. The most frequent adverse events were diarrhea and vomiting.

Conclusions and relevance: Edonerpic maleate appeared to be safe and tolerable, with expected gastrointestinal symptoms occurring early but without evidence for a clinical effect among patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease.

Trial registration: identifier: NCT02079909.

Associated data