Phase 2B randomized controlled trial of NP001 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Pre-specified and post hoc analyses

Muscle Nerve. 2022 Jul;66(1):39-49. doi: 10.1002/mus.27511. Epub 2022 Jun 3.


Introduction/aims: ALS is a heterogeneous disease that may be complicated or in part driven by inflammation. NP001, a regulator of macrophage activation, was associated with slowing disease progression in those with higher levels of the plasma inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) in phase 2A studies in ALS. Here, we evaluate the effects of NP001 in a phase 2B trial, and perform a post hoc analysis with combined data from the preceding phase 2A trial.

Methods: The phase 2B trial enrolled 138 participants within 3 y of symptom onset and with plasma hs-CRP values >1.13 mg/L. They were randomized 1:1 to receive either placebo or NP001 for 6 mo. Change from baseline ALSFRS-R scores was the primary efficacy endpoint. Secondary endpoints included vital capacity (VC) change from baseline and percentage of participants showing no decline of ALSFRS-R score over 6 mo (non-progressor).

Results: The phase 2B study did not show significant differences between placebo and active treatment with respect to change in ALSFRS-R scores, or VC. The drug was safe and well tolerated. A post hoc analysis identified a 40- to 65-y-old subset in which NP001-treated patients demonstrated slower declines in ALSFRS-R score by 36% and VC loss by 51% compared with placebo. A greater number of non-progressors were NP001-treated compared with placebo (p = .004).

Discussion: Although the phase 2B trial failed to meet its primary endpoints, post hoc analyses identified a subgroup whose decline in ALSFRS-R and VC scores were significantly slower than placebo. Further studies will be required to validate these findings.

Keywords: C-reactive protein (CRP); NP001; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); inflammation; respiratory function.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis* / diagnosis
  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Disease Progression
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Vital Capacity / physiology


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein