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PLoS One. 2017 Feb 7;12(2):e0170395. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170395. eCollection 2017.

Clinical practice of analysis of anti-drug antibodies against interferon beta and natalizumab in multiple sclerosis patients in Europe: A descriptive study of test results.

Author information

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.
CESP, Université Paris-Sud, UVSQ, INSERM, Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France.
Medical Faculty, Department of Neurology University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Department of Neurology, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany.
Danish Multiple Sclerosis Center, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
Centre d'Esclerosi Múltiple de Catalunya (Cemcat), Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.
Ipsen Biopharm Ltd, Berkshire, United Kingdom.
GlaxoSmithKline R&D, Uxbridge, Middlesex, United Kingdom.
INSERM UMR 996, Univ. Paris-Sud, Faculty of Pharmacy, Université Paris-Saclay, Châtenay-Malabry, France.
Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Paul Brousse, Villejuif, France.
SciCross AB, Skövde, Sweden.


Antibodies against biopharmaceuticals (anti-drug antibodies, ADA) have been a well-integrated part of the clinical care of multiple sclerosis (MS) in several European countries. ADA data generated in Europe during the more than 10 years of ADA monitoring in MS patients treated with interferon beta (IFNβ) and natalizumab have been pooled and characterized through collaboration within a European consortium. The aim of this study was to report on the clinical practice of ADA testing in Europe, considering the number of ADA tests performed and type of ADA assays used, and to determine the frequency of ADA testing against the different drug preparations in different countries. A common database platform (tranSMART) for querying, analyzing and storing retrospective data of MS cohorts was set up to harmonize the data and compare results of ADA tests between different countries. Retrospective data from six countries (Sweden, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark) on 20,695 patients and on 42,555 samples were loaded into tranSMART including data points of age, gender, treatment, samples, and ADA results. The previously observed immunogenic difference among the four IFNβ preparations was confirmed in this large dataset. Decreased usage of the more immunogenic preparations IFNβ-1a subcutaneous (s.c.) and IFNβ-1b s.c. in favor of the least immunogenic preparation IFNβ-1a intramuscular (i.m.) was observed. The median time from treatment start to first ADA test correlated with time to first positive test. Shorter times were observed for IFNβ-1b-Extavia s.c. (0.99 and 0.94 years) and natalizumab (0.25 and 0.23 years), which were introduced on the market when ADA testing was already available, as compared to IFNβ-1a i.m. (1.41 and 2.27 years), IFNβ-1b-Betaferon s.c. (2.51 and 1.96 years) and IFNβ-1a s.c. (2.11 and 2.09 years) which were available years before routine testing began. A higher rate of anti-IFNβ ADA was observed in test samples taken from older patients. Testing for ADA varies between different European countries and is highly dependent on the policy within each country. For drugs where routine monitoring of ADA is not in place, there is a risk that some patients remain on treatment for several years despite ADA positivity. For drugs where a strategy of ADA testing is introduced with the release of the drug, there is a reduced risk of having ADA positive patients and thus of less efficient treatment. This indicates that potential savings in health cost might be achieved by routine analysis of ADA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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Conflict of interest statement

J. Link, M. Auer, R. Ramanujam, S. Haässler, D. Bachelet, C. Mbogning, P.E. Hyldgaard Jensen, C. Sievers, K. Ingenhoven, N. Fissolo, V. Grummel, M. Pallardy, P. Broeët: have nothing to disclose. M. Ryner: has received research support from Biogen Idec and Sanofi-Aventis, and received speaker honoraria from Biogen Idec. C. Warnke: has received honoraria for consulting from Novartis, Biogen, Bayer and TEVA. D. Buck: has received compensation for activities with Bayer HealthCare, Biogen Idec, MerckSerono, and Novartis and she is supported by the ABIRISK Consortium. R. Lindberg: has received research support from the Swiss MS Society, Swiss National Science Foundation, European FP6 and IMI JU programs, Roche Postdoc Fellowship Program (RPF-program), unrestricted research grants from Novartis and Biogen. M Comabella: has received compensation for consulting services and speaking honoraria from Bayer Schering Pharma, Merk Serono, Biogen-Idec, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi-Aventis, Genzyme, and Novartis. X. Montalban: has received speaking honoraria and travel expenses for scientific meetings, has been a steering committee member of clinical trials or participated in advisory boards of clinical trials in the past years with Bayer Schering Pharma, Biogen Idec, EMD Merck Serono, Genentech, Genzyme, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Almirall and Roche. B. Kieseier has received honoraria for lecturing, travel expenses for attending meetings, and financial support for research from Bayer Health Care, Biogen Idec, Genzyme/Sanofi Aventis, Grifols, Merck Serono, Mitsubishi Europe, Novartis, Roche, Talecris, and TEVA. P. S. Sørensen: has served on scientific advisory boards for Biogen Idec, Merck Serono, Novartis, Genzyme, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline, medDay Pharmaceuticals and Forward Pharma; has been on steering committees or independent data monitoring boards in clinical trials sponsored by Merck Serono, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., and GlaxoSmithKline; and has received speaker honoraria from Biogen Idec, Merck Serono, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Genzyme, and Novartis. His department has received research support from Biogen Idec, Bayer Schering, Merck Serono, TEVA, Baxter, Sanofi-Aventis, BioMS, Novartis, Bayer, RoFAR, Roche, Genzyme, from the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Danish Medical Research Council, and the European Union Sixth Framework Programme: Life sciences, Genomics and Biotechnology for health. H-P. Hartung: has received honoraris for consulting, serving on steering committees and speaking from Biogen, GeNeuro, Genzyme, Merck, Novartis, Opexa, Receptos, Roche, Sanofi, Teva with approval by the president of Heinrich-Heine University. T. Derfuss: serves on scientific advisory boards for Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Merck Serono, Biogen Idec, Genzyme, GeNeuro, Mitsubishi Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Schering Pharma; has received funding for travel and/or speaker honoraria from Biogen Idec, Genzyme, Novartis, Merck Serono and Bayer Schering Pharma; and receives research support from Biogen Idec, Novartis Pharma, the European Union, the Swiss National Foundation and the Swiss MS Society. B. Hemmer: has served on scientific advisory boards for Roche, Novartis, Bayer Schering, Merck Serono, Biogen Idec, GSK, Chugai Pharmaceuticals, Micromet, Genentech and Genzyme Corporation; serves on the international advisory board of Archives of Neurology and Experimental Neurology; has received speaker honoraria from Bayer Schering, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Merck Serono, Roche, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.; and has received research support from Biogen Idec, Bayer Schering, Merck Serono, Five prime, Metanomics, Chugai Pharmaceuticals and Novartis. He has filed a patent for the detection of antibodies and T cells against KIR4.1 in a subpopulation of MS patients and genetic determinants of neutralizing antibodies to interferon-beta. F. Deisenhammer: participated in meetings sponsored by or received honoraria for acting as an advisor/speaker for Bayer Healthcare, Biogen Idec, Genzyme-Sanofi, Merck, Novartis Pharma, and Roche. A. Fogdell-Hahn: has received funding and speaking honoraria from Biogen Idec and Pfizer. A. Lawton is employed by GlaxoSmithKline. At the time of writing D. Sikkema and J. Davidson were employed by GlaxoSmithKline, in which J. Davidson also held stocks/shares. N. Donnellan is employed by IPSEN. P. Doönnes is an employee of SciCross AB and has received support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking under grant agreement no. 115303, resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union's Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007–2013) and EFPIA companies' in kind contribution. All the company-employed authors declare that this does not alter their adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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