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      Design of Phase 3 Studies Evaluating Vixotrigine for Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia

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          Vixotrigine (BIIB074) is a voltage- and use-dependent sodium channel blocker. These studies will evaluate the efficacy and safety of vixotrigine in treating pain experienced by patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) using enriched enrollment randomized withdrawal trial designs.

          Patients and Methods

          Two double-blind randomized withdrawal studies are planned to evaluate the efficacy and safety of vixotrigine compared with placebo in participants with TN (NCT03070132 and NCT03637387). Participant criteria include ≥18 years old who have classical, purely paroxysmal TN diagnosed ≥3 months prior to study entry, who experience ≥3 paroxysms of pain/day. The two studies will include a screening period, 7-day run-in period, a 4- or 6-week single-dose-blind dose-optimization period (Study 1) or 4-week open-label period (Study 2), and 14-week double-blind period. Participants will receive vixotrigine 150 mg orally three times daily in the dose-optimization and open-label periods. The primary endpoint of both studies is the proportion of participants classified as responders at Week 12 of the double-blind period. Secondary endpoints include safety measures, quality of life, and evaluation of vixotrigine population pharmacokinetics.


          There is a need for an effective, well-tolerated, noninvasive treatment for the neuropathic pain associated with TN. The proposed studies will evaluate the efficacy and safety of vixotrigine in treating pain experienced by patients with TN.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Safety and efficacy of a Nav1.7 selective sodium channel blocker in patients with trigeminal neuralgia: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised withdrawal phase 2a trial

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            Fibromyalgia relapse evaluation and efficacy for durability of meaningful relief (FREEDOM): a 6-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with pregabalin.

            This was a multicenter, double-blind (DB), placebo-controlled, randomized discontinuation trial to evaluate the efficacy of pregabalin monotherapy for durability of effect on fibromyalgia (FM) pain. The trial included a 6-week open-label (OL) pregabalin-treatment period followed by 26-week DB treatment with placebo or pregabalin. Adults with FM and 40-mm score on 100-mm pain visual analog scale (VAS) were eligible. During OL weeks 1-3, patients received escalating dosages of pregabalin to determine their optimal dosages. During OL weeks 4-6, patients received their optimal fixed dosages (300, 450, 600mg/d). To be randomized, patients must have had 50% decrease in pain VAS and a self-rating of "much" or "very much" improved on Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) at the end of OL. Double-blind treatment was with placebo or the patient's optimal fixed dosage of pregabalin. Primary outcome was time to loss of therapeutic response (LTR), defined as <30% reduction in pain (from OL baseline) or worsening of FM. A total of 1051 patients entered OL; 287 were randomized to placebo, 279 to pregabalin. Time to LTR was longer for pregabalin versus placebo (P<.0001). Kaplan-Meier estimates of time-to-event showed half the placebo group had LTR by Day 19; half the pregabalin group still had not lost response by trial end. At the end of DB, 174 (61%) placebo patients met LTR criteria versus 90 (32%) pregabalin patients. Pregabalin was well tolerated, though 178 (17%) discontinued during OL for treatment-related adverse events (AE), and more pregabalin than placebo patients discontinued for AEs during DB. In those who respond, pregabalin demonstrated durability of effect for relieving FM pain.
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              Systematic review of enriched enrolment, randomised withdrawal trial designs in chronic pain: a new framework for design and reporting.

              Enriched enrolment, randomised withdrawal (EERW) pain trials select, before randomisation, patients who respond by demonstrating a predetermined degree of pain relief and acceptance of adverse events. There is uncertainty over the value of this design. We report a systematic review of EERW trials in chronic noncancer pain together with a critical appraisal of methods and potential biases in the methods used and recommendations for the design and reporting of future EERW trials. Electronic and other searches found 25 EERW trials published between 1995 and June 2014, involving 5669 patients in a randomised withdrawal phase comparing drug with placebo; 13 (median, 107 patients) had a randomised withdrawal phase of 6 weeks or less, and 12 (median, 334) lasted 12 to 26 weeks. Risks of bias included short duration, inadequate outcome definition, incomplete outcome data reporting, small size, and inadequate dose tapering on randomisation to placebo. Active treatment was usually better than placebo (22/25 trials). This review reduces the uncertainty around the value of EERW trials in pain. If properly designed, conducted, and reported, they are feasible and useful for making decisions about pain therapies. Shorter, small studies can be explanatory; longer, larger studies can inform practice. Current evidence is inadequate for valid comparisons in outcome between EERW and classical trials, although no gross differences were found. This systematic review provides a framework for assessing potential biases and the value of the EERW trials, and for the design of future studies by making recommendations for the conduct and reporting of EERW trials.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                01 July 2020
                : 13
                : 1601-1609
                [1 ]Biogen , Cambridge, MA, USA
                [2 ]Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic Florida , Jacksonville, FL, USA
                [3 ]Biogen , Maidenhead, UK
                [4 ]Convergence Pharmaceuticals, a Biogen Company , Cambridge, UK
                [5 ]Facial Pain Unit and Pain Management Centre, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust/University College London , London, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Mona Kotecha Email Mona.Kotecha@biogen.com
                © 2020 Kotecha et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 2, References: 29, Pages: 9
                Funded by: Biogen 10.13039/100005614
                This study was funded by Biogen.


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