Pregnancy outcomes and postpartum relapse rates in women with RRMS treated with alemtuzumab in the phase 2 and 3 clinical development program over 16 years

CAMMS223, CARE-MS I, CARE-MS II, CAMMS03409, and TOPAZ Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) is frequently diagnosed in women of reproductive age. Because the use of disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) early in the disease course is increasing, it is important to evaluate the safety of DMTs in pregnant women and their developing fetuses. Alemtuzumab, approved for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS, is administered as 2 courses of 12 mg/day on 5 consecutive days at baseline and on 3 consecutive days 12 months later. Alemtuzumab is eliminated from the body within approximately 30 days after administration; it is recommended that women of childbearing potential use effective contraception during and for 4 months after treatment. Here, we report pregnancy outcomes in alemtuzumab-treated women from the phase 2 and 3 clinical development program over 16 years. Methods: We followed 972 women who had alemtuzumab in phase 2 (CAMMS223 [NCT00050778]) and phase 3 (CARE-MS I [NCT00530348], CARE-MS II [NCT00548405]) studies, and/or in 2 consecutive extension studies (NCT00930553; NCT02255656 [TOPAZ]). In the extension studies, patients could receive additional alemtuzumab (12 mg/day on 3 days; ≥12 months apart) as needed for disease activity. All women who received alemtuzumab in the clinical development program were included. Pregnant or lactating patients were followed up for safety. Results: As of November 26, 2018, 264 pregnancies occurred in 160 alemtuzumab-treated women, with a mean age at conception of 32.6 years, and mean time from last alemtuzumab dose to conception of 35.9 months. Of the 264 pregnancies, 233 (88%) were completed, 11 (4%) were ongoing, and 20 (8%) had unknown outcomes; 16 (6%) conceptions occurred within 4 months, and 5 conceptions within 1 month of the last alemtuzumab dose. Of the 233 completed pregnancies with known outcomes, there were 155 (67%) live births with no congenital abnormalities or birth defects, 52 (22%) spontaneous abortions, 25 (11%) elective abortions, and 1 (0.4%) stillbirth. Maternal age was associated with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion in alemtuzumab-treated patients (<35 years: 15%; ≥35 years: 37%; relative risk [RR], 2.46 [95% CI: 1.53–3.95], p=0.0002). Risk of spontaneous abortion was not increased in patients becoming pregnant ≤4 months versus >4 months since alemtuzumab exposure (19% vs 23%; RR, 1.08 [95% CI: 0.41–2.85], p=0.88). Autoimmune thyroid adverse events did not increase risk for spontaneous abortion (patients with vs without thyroid adverse events, 23.7% vs 21.3%; RR, 1.11 [95% CI: 0.69–1.80], p=0.75). Annualized relapse rate was 0.10 and 0.12 in the 2 years prior to pregnancy (post alemtuzumab), and was 0.22, 0.12, and 0.12 in each of the first 3 years postpartum, respectively. Conclusion: Normal live births were the most common outcome in women exposed to alemtuzumab 12 mg or 24 mg in clinical studies. Spontaneous abortion rate in alemtuzumab-treated patients was comparable with rates in the general population and treatment-naive MS patients, and was not increased in women with pregnancy onset within 4 months of alemtuzumab exposure. There was a minimal increase in postpartum relapses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102146
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Alemtuzumab
  • Disease-modifying therapy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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