Maribavir for Refractory or Resistant Cytomegalovirus Infections in Hematopoietic-cell or Solid-organ Transplant Recipients: A Randomized, Dose-ranging, Double-blind, Phase 2 Study

Genovefa A Papanicolaou, Fernanda P Silveira, Amelia A Langston, Marcus R Pereira, Robin K Avery, Marc Uknis, Anna Wijatyk, Jingyang Wu, Michael Boeckh, Francisco M Marty, Stephen Villano
Clinical Infectious Diseases 2019 April 8, 68 (8): 1255-1264

BACKGROUND: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections that are refractory or resistant (RR) to available antivirals ([val]ganciclovir, foscarnet, cidofovir) are associated with higher mortality in transplant patients. Maribavir is active against RR CMV strains.

METHODS: Hematopoietic-cell or solid-organ transplant recipients ≥12 years old with RR CMV infections and plasma CMV deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) ≥1000 copies/mL were randomized (1:1:1) to twice-daily dose-blinded maribavir 400, 800, or 1200 mg for up to 24 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of patients with confirmed undetectable plasma CMV DNA within 6 weeks of treatment. Safety analyses included the frequency and severity of treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs).

RESULTS: From July 2012 to December 2014, 120 patients were randomized and treated (40 per dose group): 80/120 (67%) patients achieved undetectable CMV DNA within 6 weeks of treatment (95% confidence interval, 57-75%), with rates of 70%, 63%, and 68%, respectively, for maribavir 400, 800, and 1200 mg twice daily. Recurrent on-treatment CMV infections occurred in 25 patients; 13 developed mutations conferring maribavir resistance. Maribavir was discontinued due to adverse events in 41/120 (34%) patients, and 17/41 discontinued due to CMV infections. During the study, 32 (27%) patients died, 4 due to CMV disease. Dysgeusia was the most common TEAE (78/120; 65%) and led to maribavir discontinuation in 1 patient. Absolute neutrophil counts <1000/µL were noted in 12/106 (11%) evaluable patients, with rates similar across doses.

CONCLUSIONS: Maribavir ≥400 mg twice daily was active against RR CMV infections in transplant recipients; no new safety signals were identified.


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