Background: Sensitive and specific biomarkers for use in progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) have not been established. We investigate neurofilament light (NfL) as a treatment response biomarker in progressive MS. Objective: To evaluate whether ibudilast 100 mg/day alters serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of NfL in progressive MS. Methods: In a protocol-defined exploratory analysis from a 2-year, phase 2 clinical trial of ibudilast in progressive MS (NCT01982942), serum samples were collected from 239 subjects and a subset contributed CSF and assayed using single-molecule assay (SIMOA) immunoassay. A mixed model for repeated measurements yielded log(NfL) as the response variable. Results: The geometric mean baseline serum NfL was 31.9 and 28.8 pg/mL in placebo and ibudilast groups, respectively. The geometric mean baseline CSF NfL was 1150.8 and 1290.3 pg/mL in placebo and ibudilast groups, respectively. Serum and CSF NfL correlations were r = 0.52 and r = 0.78 at weeks 48 and 96, respectively. Over 96 weeks, there was no between-group difference in NfL in either serum (p = 0.76) or CSF (p = 0.46). After controlling for factors that may affect NfL, no effect of ibudilast on NfL in either serum or CSF was observed. Conclusion: Ibudilast treatment was not associated with a change in either serum or CSF NfL.
- Multiple sclerosis