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Effect of sodium phenylbutyrate/taurursodiol on tracheostomy/ventilation-free survival and hospitalisation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: long-term results from the CENTAUR trial.

BACKGROUND: Coformulated sodium phenylbutyrate/taurursodiol (PB/TURSO) was shown to prolong survival and slow functional decline in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

OBJECTIVE: Determine whether PB/TURSO prolonged tracheostomy/ventilation-free survival and/or reduced first hospitalisation in participants with ALS in the CENTAUR trial.

METHODS: Adults with El Escorial Definite ALS ≤18 months from symptom onset were randomised to PB/ TURSO or placebo for 6 months. Those completing randomised treatment could enrol in an open-label extension (OLE) phase and receive PB/TURSO for ≤30 months. Times to the following individual or combined key events were compared in the originally randomised treatment groups over a period spanning trial start through July 2020 (longest postrandomisation follow-up, 35 months): death, tracheostomy, permanent assisted ventilation (PAV) and first hospitalisation.

RESULTS: Risk of any key event was 47% lower in those originally randomised to PB/TURSO (n=87) versus placebo (n=48, 71% of whom received delayed-start PB/TURSO in the OLE phase) (HR=0.53; 95% CI 0.35 to 0.81; p=0.003). Risks of death or tracheostomy/PAV (HR=0.51; 95% CI 0.32 to 0.84; p=0.007) and first hospitalisation (HR=0.56; 95% CI 0.34 to 0.95; p=0.03) were also decreased in those originally randomised to PB/TURSO.

CONCLUSIONS: Early PB/TURSO prolonged tracheostomy/PAV-free survival and delayed first hospitalisation in ALS.


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