Efficacy and Safety of Fixed-Dose Deutetrabenazine in Children and Adolescents for Tics Associated with Tourette Syndrome: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Barbara Coffey, Joseph Jankovic, Daniel O. Claassen, Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, Barry J. Gertz, Elizabeth A. Garofalo, David A. Stamler, Maria Wieman, Juha Matti Savola, Mark Forrest Gordon, Jessica K. Alexander, Hadas Barkay, Eran Harary

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Importance: Tourette syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by childhood onset of motor and phonic tics, often accompanied by behavioral and psychiatric comorbidities. Deutetrabenazine is a vesicular monoamine transporter 2 inhibitor approved in the US for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington disease and tardive dyskinesia. Objective: To report results of the ARTISTS 2 (Alternatives for Reducing Tics in Tourette Syndrome 2) study examining deutetrabenazine for treatment of Tourette syndrome. Design, Setting, and Participants: This phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, fixed-dose study was conducted over 8 weeks with a 1-week follow-up (June 21, 2018, to December 9, 2019). Children and adolescents aged 6 to 16 years with a diagnosis of Tourette syndrome and active tics causing distress or impairment were enrolled in the study. Children were recruited from 52 sites in 10 countries. Data were analyzed from February 4 to April 22, 2020. Interventions: Participants were randomized (1:1:1) to low-dose deutetrabenazine (up to 36 mg/d), high-dose deutetrabenazine (up to 48 mg/d), or a matching placebo, which were titrated over 4 weeks to the target dose followed by a 4-week maintenance period. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary efficacy end point was change from baseline to week 8 in the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale-Total Tic Score (YGTSS-TTS) for high-dose deutetrabenazine. Key secondary end points included changes in YGTSS-TTS for low-dose deutetrabenazine, Tourette Syndrome Clinical Global Impression score, Tourette Syndrome Patient Global Impression of Impact score, and Child and Adolescent Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome-Quality of Life Activities of Daily Living subscale score. Safety assessments included incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events, laboratory parameters, vital signs, and questionnaires. Results: The study included 158 children and adolescents (mean [SD] age, 11.7 [2.6] years). A total of 119 participants (75%) were boys; 7 (4%), Asian; 1 (1%), Black; 32 (20%), Hispanic; 4 (3%), Native American; 135 (85%), White; 2 (1%), multiracial; 9 (6%), other race; and 1 (0.6%), of unknown ethnic origin. Fifty-two participants were randomized to the high-dose deutetrabenazine group, 54 to the low-dose deutetrabenazine group, and 52 to the placebo group. Baseline characteristics for participants were similar between groups. Of the total 158 participants, 64 (41%) were aged 6 to 11 years, and 94 (59%) were aged 12 to 16 years at baseline. Mean time since Tourette syndrome diagnosis was 3.3 (2.8) years, and mean baseline YGTSS-TTS was 33.8 (6.6) points. At week 8, the difference in YGTSS-TTS was not significant between the high-dose deutetrabenazine and placebo groups (least-squares mean difference, -0.8 points; 95% CI, -3.9 to 2.3 points; P =.60; Cohen d, -0.11). There were no nominally significant differences between groups for key secondary end points. Treatment-emergent adverse events were reported for 34 participants (65%) treated with high-dose deutetrabenazine, 24 (44%) treated with low-dose deutetrabenazine, and 25 (49%) treated with placebo and were generally mild or moderate. Conclusions and Relevance: In this fixed-dose randomized clinical trial of deutetrabenazine in children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome, the primary efficacy end point was not met. No new safety signals were identified. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03571256.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJAMA Network Open
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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