The Development of Cladribine Tablets for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis: A Comprehensive Review

Kottil Rammohan, Patricia K. Coyle, Elke Sylvester, Andrew Galazka, Fernando Dangond, Megan Grosso, Thomas P. Leist

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cladribine is a purine nucleoside analog initially developed in the 1970s as a treatment for various blood cancers. Due to the molecule’s ability to preferentially reduce T and B lymphocytes, it has been developed into an oral formulation for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The unique proposed mechanism of action of cladribine allows for the therapy to be delivered orally over two treatment-week cycles per year, one cycle at the beginning of the first month and one cycle at the beginning of the second month of years 1 and 2, with the potential for no further cladribine treatment required in years 3 and 4. This review summarizes the clinical development program for cladribine tablets in patients with MS, including the efficacy endpoints and results from the 2-year phase III CLARITY study in patients with relapsing–remitting MS (RRMS), the 2-year CLARITY EXTENSION study, and the phase III ORACLE-MS study in patients with a first clinical demyelinating event at risk for developing MS. Efficacy results from the phase II ONWARD study, in which cladribine tablets were administered as an add-on to interferon-β therapy in patients with RRMS, are also summarized. A review of all safety data, including lymphopenia, infections, and malignancies, is provided based on data from all trials in patients with MS, including the initial parenteral formulation studies. Based on these data, cladribine tablets administered at 3.5 mg/kg over 2 years have been approved across the globe for various forms of relapsing MS. [MediaObject not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1901-1928
Number of pages28
JournalDrugs
Volume80
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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