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Cladribine tablets after treatment with natalizumab (CLADRINA) - rationale and design.

BACKGROUND: Individual disease modifying therapies approved for multiple sclerosis (MS) have limited effectiveness and potentially serious side effects, especially when administered over long periods. Sequential combination therapy is a plausible alternative approach. Natalizumab is a monoclonal therapeutic antibody that reduces leukocyte access to the central nervous system that is associated with an increased risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and disease reactivation after its discontinuation. Cladribine tablets act as a synthetic adenosine analog, disrupting DNA synthesis and repair, thereby reducing the number of lymphocytes. The generation of prospective, rigorous safety, and efficacy data in transitioning from natalizumab to cladribine is an unmet clinical need.

OBJECTIVES: To test the feasibility of transitioning patients with relapsing forms of MS natalizumab to cladribine tablets.

DESIGN: Cladribine tablets after treatment with natalizumab (CLADRINA) is an open-label, single-arm, multicenter, collaborative phase IV, research study that will generate hypothesis regarding the safety, efficacy, and immunological impact of transition from natalizumab to cladribine tablets in patients with relapsing forms of MS.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Participants will be recruited from three different sites. The primary endpoint is the absolute and percent change from baseline of lymphocytes and myeloid cell subsets, as well as blood neurofilament light levels. The secondary endpoint is the annualized relapse rate over the 12- and 24-month trial periods. Exploratory endpoints include the expanded disability status scale, and magnetic resonance imaging outcomes.

DISCUSSION: The CLADRINA trial will generate data regarding the safety, efficacy, and immunological impact of the transition from natalizumab to cladribine. As the pace of immunological knowledge of MS continues, insight into disease modifying therapy transition strategies is needed.

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