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The ExTINGUISH Trial of Inebilizumab in NMDAR Encephalitis

Xiao-Tang Kong

A Study On:

  • Other


  • Open


18 Years and older (Adult, Older Adult)
Autoimmune Encephalitis

Interested in joining this trial?

Official Title

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


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 detection of IgG autoantibodies against central nervous system NMDAR in the cerebrospinal fluid. Despite the severity of the illness, NMDAR encephalitis is 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 (primary outcomes at 16 weeks), 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. 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.


You can join if...

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Inclusion Criteria 1. Diagnosis of NMDAR encephalitis, defined by both (a) and (b):
  2. A subacute onset of change in mental status consistent with autoimmune encephalitis,
  3. A positive cell-based assay for anti-NMDA receptor IgG antibody in the CSF confirmed in study-specified laboratories.
  4. Age ≥ 18 years 3. Written informed consent and any locally required authorization (e.g., Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA] in the United States of America (USA), European Union [EU] Data Privacy Directive in the EU) obtained from the participant/legal representative prior to performing any protocol-related procedures, including screening evaluations.
  5. Females of childbearing potential who are sexually active with a nonsterilized male partner must agree to use a highly effective method of contraception beginning at screening or upon discharge from hospitalization/inpatient rehabilitation (for participants who were incapacitated at the time of screening), and to continue precautions for 6 months after the final dose of investigational product.
  6. Nonsterilized males who are sexually active with a female partner of childbearing potential must agree to use a highly effective method of contraception at screening or upon discharge from hospitalization/inpatient rehabilitation (for participants who were incapacitated at the time of screening), and to continue precautions for 3 months after the final dose of investigational product. Male patients with female partners of childbearing potential must have that female partner use at least one form of highly effective contraception, starting at least one menstrual cycle before (the male patient's) first study drug administration and continuing until at least 3 months after their male partner's last dose of the study drug.
  7. Willing to forego other immunomodulatory therapies (investigational or otherwise) for NMDAR encephalitis during the study.
  8. Patient must have received at least 3 days of methylprednisolone 1000 mg IV or equivalent corticosteroid within 30 days prior to randomization (Day 1). In addition, patients must have received EITHER of the following treatments within 30 days before randomization.
  9. IVIg, at a minimum dose of 2 g/kg
  10. Plasma exchange or plasmapheresis, with a minimum of 5 treatments. NOTE: These treatments may be provided during the screening period, but must be completed prior to randomization.
  11. mRS of ≥3 at the screening visit, indicating at least moderate disability. 9. Ability and willingness to attend study visits and complete the study

Get in touch with our study team