ATON: Results from a Phase II randomized trial of the B-cell-targeting agent atacicept in patients with optic neuritis

Robert C. Sergott*, Jeffrey L. Bennett, Peter Rieckmann, Xavier Montalban, Daniel Mikol, Ulrich Freudensprung, Thomas Plitz, Johan Van Beek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


The 36-week ATON study compared the efficacy and safety of atacicept with matching placebo in 34 patients with unilateral optic neuritis as a clinically isolated syndrome. Atacicept (150 mg) was administered twice weekly for 4 weeks (loading period), then once weekly for 32 weeks. The ATON study was terminated prematurely by the sponsor when an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board review observed increased multiple sclerosis (MS)-related disease activity in the atacicept arms of the concurrent ATAcicept in MS (ATAMS) study. Analysis of the prematurely terminated ATON study showed that the mean (standard deviation) change from baseline in retinal nerve fiber layer thickness at last observed value in the affected eye was - 8.6 (10.1) μm in patients treated with atacicept (n = 15) compared with - 17.3 (15.2) μm in patients treated with placebo (n = 16). In the atacicept treatment group, a higher proportion of patients converted to clinically definite MS during the double-blind period compared with placebo (35.3% [6/17] vs 17.6% [3/17]). Treatment-emergent adverse events were similar across both treatment groups in the double-blind period. A dichotomy emerged with more atacicept-treated patients converting to relapsing-remitting MS compared with placebo-treated patients, despite the same patients experiencing less axonal loss after an optic neuritis event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-178
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2015


  • Atacicept
  • Clinically definite multiple sclerosis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Optic neuritis
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Retinal nerve fiber layer


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