Griggs 2016 Study Summary (Abstract)

Efficacy and safety of deflazacort vs prednisone and placebo for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Objective: To assess safety and efficacy of deflazacort (DFZ) and prednisone (PRED) vs placebo in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Methods: This phase III, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter study evaluated muscle strength among 196 boys aged 5-15 years with DMD during a 52-week period. In phase 1, participants were randomly assigned to receive treatment with DFZ 0.9 mg/kg/d, DFZ 1.2 mg/kg/d, PRED 0.75 mg/kg/d, or placebo for 12 weeks. In phase 2, placebo participants were randomly assigned to 1 of the 3 active treatment groups. Participants originally assigned to an active treatment continued that treatment for an additional 40 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was average change in muscle strength from baseline to week 12 compared with placebo. The study was completed in 1995.

Results: All treatment groups (DFZ 0.9 mg/kg/d, DFZ 1.2 mg/kg/d, and PRED 0.75 mg/kg/d) demonstrated significant improvement in muscle strength compared with placebo at 12 weeks. Participants taking PRED had significantly more weight gain than placebo or both doses of DFZ at 12 weeks; at 52 weeks, participants taking PRED had significantly more weight gain than both DFZ doses. The most frequent adverse events in all 3 active treatment arms were Cushingoid appearance, erythema, hirsutism, increased weight, headache, and nasopharyngitis.

Conclusions: After 12 weeks of treatment, PRED and both doses of DFZ improved muscle strength compared with placebo. Deflazacort was associated with less weight gain than PRED.

Classification of Evidence: This study provides Class I evidence that for boys with DMD, daily use of either DFZ and PRED is effective in preserving muscle strength over a 12-week period.

Shieh 2018 Study Summary (Abstract)

Deflazacort versus prednisone/prednisolone for maintaining motor function and delaying loss of ambulation: A post HOC analysis from the ACT DMD trial.

Introduction: ACT DMD was a 48-week trial of ataluren for nonsense mutation Duchenne muscular dystrophy (nmDMD). Patients received corticosteroids for ≥6 months at entry and stable regimens throughout study. This post hoc analysis compares efficacy and safety for deflazacort and prednisone/prednisolone in the placebo arm.

Methods: Patients received deflazacort (n = 53) or prednisone/prednisolone (n = 61). Endpoints included change from baseline in 6-minute walk distance (6MWD), timed function tests, estimated age at loss of ambulation (extrapolated from 6MWD).

Results: Mean changes in 6MWD were -39.0 m (deflazacort; 95% confidence limit [CL], -68.85, -9.17) and -70.6 m (prednisone/prednisolone; 95% CL, -97.16, -44.02). Mean changes in 4-stair climb were 3.79 s (deflazacort; 95% CL, 1.54, 6.03) and 6.67 s (prednisone/prednisolone; 95% CL, 4.69, 8.64).

Conclusions: This analysis, limited by its post hoc nature, suggests greater preservation of 6MWD and 4-stair climb with deflazacort vs. prednisone/prednisolone. A head-to-head comparison will better define these differences.