Long-Term Functional Efficacy and Safety of Viltolarsen in Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

J Neuromuscul Dis. 2022;9(4):493-501. doi: 10.3233/JND-220811.


Background: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a rare, genetic disease caused by mutations in the DMD gene resulting in an absence of functional dystrophin protein. Viltolarsen, an exon 53 skipping therapy, has been shown to increase endogenous dystrophin levels. Herein, long-term (>2 years) functional outcomes in viltolarsen treated patients were compared to a matched historical control group.

Objective: To evaluate long-term efficacy and safety of the anti-sense oligonucleotide viltolarsen in the treatment of patients with DMD amenable to exon 53 skipping therapy.

Methods: This trial (NCT03167255) is the extension of a previously published 24-week trial in North America (NCT02740972) that examined dystrophin levels, timed function tests compared to a matched historical control group (Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group Duchenne Natural History Study, CINRG DNHS), and safety in boys 4 to < 10 years (N = 16) with DMD amenable to exon 53 skipping who were treated with viltolarsen. Both groups were treated with glucocorticoids. All 16 participants elected to enroll in this long-term trial (up to 192 weeks) to continue evaluation of motor function and safety.

Results: Time to stand from supine and time to run/walk 10 meters showed stabilization from baseline through week 109 for viltolarsen-treated participants whereas the historical control group showed decline (statistically significant differences for multiple timepoints). Safety was similar to that observed in the previous 24-week trial, which was predominantly mild. There have been no treatment-related serious adverse events and no discontinuations.

Conclusions: Based on these results at over 2 years, viltolarsen can be a new treatment option for patients with DMD amenable to exon 53 skipping.

Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy; clinical efficacy; dystrophin; exon skipping; viltepso; viltolarsen.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Dystrophin* / genetics
  • Dystrophin* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne* / drug therapy
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne* / genetics
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne* / metabolism
  • Oligonucleotides / adverse effects
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense


  • Dystrophin
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • viltolarsen