Matching-adjusted comparisons demonstrate better clinical outcomes in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis treated with peginterferon beta-1a than with teriflunomide

Scott D. Newsome, Oksana Mokliatchouk, Carmen Castrillo-Viguera, Maria L. Naylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Peginterferon beta-1a and teriflunomide are both first-line disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) approved for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS); however, no head-to-head trials have directly compared their clinical efficacy. We performed a matching-adjusted comparison of individual patient data from the peginterferon beta-1a pivotal phase 3 study, ADVANCE, and its extension study, ATTAIN, with pooled aggregated data from the teriflunomide pivotal phase 3 studies, TEMSO and TOWER. Methods: A total of 512 patients randomized to subcutaneous (SC) peginterferon beta-1a 125 mcg every 2 weeks in ADVANCE and 731 patients randomized to teriflunomide 14 mg daily (359 from TEMSO and 372 from TOWER) were matched on key baseline characteristics. After matching, weighted annualized relapse rate (ARR) and 24-week confirmed disability worsening (CDW) were calculated and compared for peginterferon beta-1a– and teriflunomide-treated patients. A subset analysis comparing weighted ARR in patients who were newly diagnosed with RMS (diagnosis ≤1 year before study enrollment and disease-modifying therapy naïve) was also performed. Results: After matching, the peginterferon beta-1a and teriflunomide treatment groups were identically matched across baseline characteristics. The proportion of patients in the overall study populations with 24-week CDW at 108 weeks was significantly lower in the peginterferon beta-1a group than the teriflunomide group both before matching (8.5%% vs 12.6%; P = 0.0249) and after matching (8.4%% vs 12.6%; P = 0.0323). ARR at 108 weeks was numerically lower with peginterferon beta-1a than with teriflunomide both before matching (0.278 vs 0.354; P = 0.1326) and after matching (0.257 vs 0.354; P = 0.0510). Newly diagnosed patients treated with peginterferon beta-1a had numerically lower ARR than patients treated with teriflunomide both at 108 weeks (before matching: 0.225 vs 0.270; P = 0.587; after matching: 0.201 vs 0.270; P = 0.384) and at 5 years (before matching: 0.150 vs 0.196; after matching: 0.142 vs 0.196). Conclusions: In this matching-adjusted comparison of patients with RMS from three phase 3 trials, a significantly lower proportion of patients treated with SC peginterferon beta-1a 125 mcg every 2 weeks than with oral teriflunomide 14 mg once daily had 24-week CDW at 108 weeks. In addition, in both the overall population and newly diagnosed patient subgroups, ARR at 108 weeks was numerically lower with peginterferon beta-1a than with teriflunomide. The numerically lower ARR in newly diagnosed patients treated with peginterferon beta-1a compared with those treated with teriflunomide was sustained through up to 5 years of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101954
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
StatePublished - May 2020



  • Comparative efficacy
  • Matching-adjusted comparison
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Peginterferon beta-1a
  • Teriflunomide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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