We are excited to report that the ExTINGUISH Trial will start recruitment in January 2022. This trial is a Phase-2b, Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Activity and Safety of Inebilizumab in Anti-NMDA Receptor (NMDAR) Encephalitis and Assess Markers of Disease. This trial is the result of the dedication and hard work of Dr. Stacey Clardy, Dr. Maarten Titulaer, and Dr. Gregory Day, and is funded by the National Institutes of Health and Horizon Pharmaceuticals, and is supported by the NeuroNEXT Clinical Trial Network.
The ExTINGUISH Trial will randomize 116 participants with moderate-to-severe NMDAR encephalitis to receive either inebilizumab or placebo in addition to first-line therapies. Inebilizumab is a promising therapeutic monoclonal antibody for the treatment of NMDAR encephalitis. Inebilizumab not only depletes CD20+ B-cells, but also CD20- plasmablasts and plasma cells, resulting in robust and sustained suppression of B-cell expression.
The ExTINGUISH Trial will take place at 20 centers across the U.S. and two centers in Europe (Barcelona, Spain, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands). In order to be eligible to participate in the trial, you must have a new diagnosis of NMDAR Encephalitis that has not been treated with other immunotherapies. Recruitment will open up first in the U.S. in January 2022 in selected centers.
The Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance is honored to be supporting this trial, alongside the anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis Foundation.
The Lead Investigators on the study are:
Stacey L. Clardy MD PhD, University of Utah + Salt Lake City VA
Maarten Titulaer MD PhD, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Gregory Day MD, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville
Want to learn more about the ExTINGUISH trial?
The ExTUINGISH trial is a Phase-2b, Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Activity and Safety of Inebilizumab in Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis and Assess Markers of Disease.
The ExTINGUISH Trial will prospectively study an optimized B-cell depletion therapy to promote better long-term outcomes in NMDAR encephalitis, to determine more meaningful cognitive endpoints, and to identify better biologic biomarkers to predict outcome.
N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is one of the most common causes of autoimmune encephalitis, with prevalence exceeding herpes encephalitis in industrialized nations. Typically, the disease affects patients age 10-50 causing prominent psychiatric symptoms, altered consciousness, seizures, movement disorders, and life-threatening dysautonomia. Intensive care, including cardiorespiratory support, is required in 75% of cases. The diagnosis is confirmed by the detection of IgG autoantibodies against central nervous system NMDAR in the cerebrospinal fluid.
Despite the severity of the illness, NMDAR encephalitis is most often a treatable neurological disease, with retrospective case series establishing the benefit of off-label intravenous steroids and immunoglobulins. These treatments are presumed to work through effects on IgG NMDAR autoantibody levels in the CSF, although prospective data informing predictors of treatment responses are limited. Even with prompt treatment, ~50% of patients remain disabled, requiring prolonged hospital admissions.
Various off-label therapies have been proposed as “second-line” treatments in NMDAR encephalitis. The majority of second-line treatments target circulating B-cells with various degrees of blood-brain penetrance and efficacy, and poor consensus on the timing, dose and route of delivery of candidate agents. High-quality evidence is needed to inform the treatment of NMDAR encephalitis. Inebilizumab is a promising therapeutic monoclonal antibody for the treatment of NMDAR encephalitis. This humanized monoclonal antibody against the B-cell surface antigen CD19 was recently shown to be safe and efficacious in the treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder-another antibody-mediated disorder of the central nervous system. Compared to other off label B-cell depleting therapies, such as rituximab, inebilizumab not only depletes CD20+ B-cells, but also CD20- plasmablasts and plasma cells, resulting in robust and sustained suppression of B-cell expression.
The ExTINGUISH Trial will randomize 116 participants with moderate-to-severe NMDAR encephalitis to receive either inebilizumab or placebo in addition to first-line therapies. Patient outcomes will be ascertained at standard intervals using the modified Rankin scale and accepted safety measures, together with comprehensive validated neuropsychological tests, bedside cognitive screening tools, quality of life/functional indices, and outcome prediction measures. Clinical data will be combined with quantitative measures of NMDAR autoantibody titers and cytokines implicated in B-cell activation and antibody production within the intrathecal compartment to identify treatment responders, inform the biologic contributors to outcomes, and evaluate for biomarkers that may serve as early predictors of favorable outcomes in future clinical trials in NMDAR encephalitis.
If you are interested in learning more about the study or to find out if you are eligible, please contact ExTINGUISH@hsc.utah.edu or look up the study on clinicaltrials.gov (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04372615) This study is sponsored by NINDS and Horizon Pharmaceuticals.