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Safety and Efficacy of Sustained Release Dalfampridine in Transverse Myelitis (Re-Launch)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02166346
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 18, 2014
Results First Posted : April 17, 2018
Last Update Posted : April 17, 2018
Acorda Therapeutics
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Johns Hopkins University

Brief Summary:

Transverse myelitis (TM) is an inflammatory disorder of the spinal cord that leads to disabilities of gait. Dalfampridine, a sustained-release potassium inhibitor has been shown to be effective in improving gait and other neurologic functions in multiple sclerosis. Dalfampridine has the potential to improve neurologic function in patients with transverse myelitis as this rare disorder shares a similar pathogenic process with multiple sclerosis. The in a clinical trial to test the efficacy of dalfampridine in TM.

The clinical trial that the investigators propose to conduct will focus on TM and will evaluate the dalfampridine in primary neurologic outcome, 25-foot timed walk, and several secondary outcomes including valid behavioral and neurophysiological tests.

This is a re-launch of the previous trial, which now includes additional behavioral and clinical testing.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Transverse Myelitis Neuromyelitis Optica Idiopathic Transverse Myelitis Myelitis NOS Drug: Dalfampridine Drug: Placebo Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Fampridine (4-aminopyridine) is a potassium channel blocker that has been studied since the 1970s for its effect on amplifying conductivity in peripheral nerves, potentiating neurotransmitter release in muscles and increasing post-synaptic action potentials in the spinal cord. It was tested in other neurologic conditions over the next two decades and was found to have a limited therapeutic window due to the stimulation of seizures at high doses. The first randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded study of fampridine in 70 patients found significant improvements in a number of neurophysiological parameters while on fampridine compared to placebo. Since then, at least six additional studies on oral fampridine in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) were conducted and found to have some significant neurologic function. Although only a small incidence of seizure or altered mental status were reported in these studies, the concern about fampridine causing seizures remained a barrier in the acceptance of fampridine as an MS therapy in the general neurology community.

Recently, Biogen-Idec and Acorda have teamed up in the development of a sustained-release formulation of fampridine, dalfampridine, in which plasma concentrations of the drug and avoids toxic doses that lead to seizures. In two clinical trials, dalfampridine has been shown to be beneficial in two large cohorts of multiple sclerosis patients with noted improvements in gait and lower extremity muscle strength. Seizures were only seen in high doses of 20 mg or more whereas benefits were evident at the approved dose of 10 mg twice daily.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved dalfampridine for use in multiple sclerosis in 2009 based on the key study that evaluated gait by timed 25-foot walk. About 35-40% of study participants responded and this group improved their walking speed by about 20%.

The investigator's interest in dalfampridine is focused more narrowly on a subset of patients with a demyelinating disorder that is restricted to the spinal cord, transverse myelitis (TM), was not included in any previous human trials of dalfampridine. In contrast to MS, which affects the entire system, transverse myelitis affects the spinal cord and largely spares the brain. It is not associated with an increased risk of seizure.

Transverse myelitis is defined as an episode of inflammation in the spinal cord leading to disability at the level of the lesion and below. The majority of TM lesions strike the thoracic cord causing impairments in lower extremities. A single lesion is the cause of all of their symptoms. The goal of using dalfampridine in these patients is to amplify axonal conductance across the lesion. This would manifest as improved neurologic function involving the lower extremities including gait. This is a straightforward proof of concept model proving the mechanism of action of dalfampridine.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 24 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Trial on the Safety and Efficacy of Sustained-Release Dalfampridine in Transverse Myelitis (Re-Launch)
Study Start Date : February 2014
Actual Primary Completion Date : January 8, 2017
Actual Study Completion Date : January 8, 2017

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Dalfampridine then Placebo
All subjects were randomized for the first double-blinded 8-week part of the study to the dalfampridine group. Then subjects were crossed over to the placebo arm for another 8 weeks.
Drug: Dalfampridine
Dalfampridine 10 mg twice daily for 8 weeks
Other Name: Ampyra

Drug: Placebo
Placebo pill 1 tablet twice daily for 8 weeks
Other Name: Sugar pill

Experimental: Placebo the Dalfampridine
All subjects were randomized for the first double-blinded 8-week part of the study to the placebo arm. Then subjects were crossed over to the dalfampridine arm for another 8 weeks.
Drug: Dalfampridine
Dalfampridine 10 mg twice daily for 8 weeks
Other Name: Ampyra

Drug: Placebo
Placebo pill 1 tablet twice daily for 8 weeks
Other Name: Sugar pill

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Walking Speed During Timed 25-foot Walk [ Time Frame: Every 2 weeks during each 8 week intervention ]
    In this cross-over study, walking speed was recorded 4 times for each subject while in both the dalfampridine and placebo arms. The results average all of the times while on damfampridine and compares them to the average of the times while on placebo.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Upper and Lower Extremity Muscle Strength Measurements [ Time Frame: baseline and end (8 weeks) of each intervention ]
    Upper and lower extremity muscle strength measurements, using a hand held dynamometer, at the beginning and end of each arm. Change in muscle strength between baseline and end (8 weeks) of each intervention are provided.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of transverse myelitis confirmed by MRI
  • Gait impairment defined as a baseline timed 25-foot walk of at least 5 seconds and no more than 60 seconds.
  • Age 18-70.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of any of the following concurrent conditions: spinal dural arteriovenous malformation, multiple sclerosis, infectious myelitis and recurrent transverse myelitis of any etiology. Subjects with a positive NMO-Immunoglobulin G (IgG) biomarker test will be permitted to join the study as long as the there is only a history of monophasic, and not recurrent, TM.
  • History of seizure(s).
  • Pregnancy or positive pregnancy test (mandatory test for all women aged 18-55 to be done at first screening visit).
  • Known use or allergy to dalfampridine or any other formulation of 4-aminopyridine.
  • Patients unable to walk.
  • Patients with history of severe alcohol or drug abuse, severe psychiatric illness such as severe depression, poor motivational capacity, or severe language disturbances, particularly of receptive nature or with serious cognitive deficits (defined as equivalent to a mini-mental state exam score of 23 or less).
  • Patients with severe uncontrolled medical problems (e.g. hypertension, cardiovascular disease, severe rheumatoid arthritis, active joint deformity of arthritic origin, active cancer or renal disease, any kind of end-stage pulmonary or cardiovascular disease, claudication, uncontrolled epilepsy or others).

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02166346

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United States, Maryland
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 21287
Sponsors and Collaborators
Johns Hopkins University
Acorda Therapeutics
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Principal Investigator: Michael Levy, MD, PhD Johns Hopkins University
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Responsible Party: Johns Hopkins University Identifier: NCT02166346    
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT01446575
Other Study ID Numbers: NA_00090799
First Posted: June 18, 2014    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: April 17, 2018
Last Update Posted: April 17, 2018
Last Verified: March 2018
Keywords provided by Johns Hopkins University:
Transverse myelitis
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Myelitis, Transverse
Neuromyelitis Optica
Demyelinating Autoimmune Diseases, CNS
Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System
Nervous System Diseases
Optic Neuritis
Optic Nerve Diseases
Cranial Nerve Diseases
Demyelinating Diseases
Eye Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Central Nervous System Infections
Central Nervous System Diseases
Spinal Cord Diseases
Paraneoplastic Syndromes, Nervous System
Nervous System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Paraneoplastic Syndromes
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Potassium Channel Blockers
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action