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BACKGROUND: Antibodies to the aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channel in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) are reported to trigger the complement cascade, which is implicated in astrocyte damage and subsequent neuronal injury. The PREVENT study demonstrated that the terminal complement inhibitor eculizumab reduces adjudicated relapse risk in patients with anti-AQP4 immunoglobulin G-positive (AQP4+) NMOSD. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the efficacy of eculizumab in reducing relapse risk and its safety in AQP4+ NMOSD across clinically relevant subgroups in PREVENT. METHODS: In the randomized, double-blind, time-to-event, phase 3 PREVENT trial, 143 adults received eculizumab (maintenance dose, 1200 mg/2 weeks) or placebo (2:1), with stable-dose concomitant immunosuppressive therapy (IST) permitted (except rituximab and mitoxantrone). Post hoc analyses of relapses and adverse events were performed for prespecified and post hoc subgroups based on concomitant IST and prior rituximab use, demographic and disease characteristics, and autoimmune comorbidity. RESULTS: The significant reduction in relapse risk observed for eculizumab versus placebo in the overall PREVENT population was consistently maintained across subgroups based on concomitant IST and previous rituximab use, age, sex, region, race, time since clinical onset of NMOSD, historical annualized relapse rate, baseline Expanded Disability Status Scale score, and history of another autoimmune disorder. The serious infection rate was lower with eculizumab than placebo regardless of rituximab use in the previous year, concomitant IST use, or history of another autoimmune disorder. CONCLUSION: Across a wide range of clinically relevant AQP4+ NMOSD patient subgroups in PREVENT, eculizumab therapy was consistently effective versus placebo in reducing relapse risk, with no apparent increase in serious infection rate. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01892345 (

Original publication




Journal article


Mult Scler Relat Disord

Publication Date





Aquaporin-4 immunoglobulin G-positive, Eculizumab, Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, Relapse, Safety, Subgroups