Outcome measures in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis clinical trials

Author(s): Sabrina Paganoni, Merit Cudkowicz, James D Berry

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease with an average survival of 3–5 years. While therapies for ALS remain limited, basic and translational ALS research has been host to numerous influential discoveries in recent years. These discoveries have led to a large pipeline of potential therapies that await testing in clinical trials. Until recently, ALS clinical trials have relied on a limited cadre of ‘traditional’ outcome measures, including survival and measures of function. These measures have proven useful, although imperfect, in Phase III ALS trials. However, their utility in early-phase ALS trials is limited. For these early trials, outcome measures focused on target engagement or biological pathway analysis might improve trial outcomes and better support the drug development process.