Background: Essential tremor (ET) is a common, progressive neurological syndrome with bilateral upper-limb dysfunction of at least 3-year duration, with or without tremor in other body locations. This disorder has a negative impact on daily function and quality of life. A single oral therapy has been approved by FDA for ET. Off-label pharmacotherapies have inadequate efficacy and poor tolerability with high rates of patient dissatisfaction and discontinuation. Safe and efficacious pharmacotherapies are urgently needed to decrease tremor and improve daily living. T-CALM (Tremor-CAv3 modulation) protocol is designed to assess the safety and efficacy of CX-8998, a selective modulator of the T-type calcium channel, for ET therapy.
Methods/Design: T-CALM is a phase 2, proof-of-concept, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Titrated doses of CX-8998 to 10 mg BID or placebo will be administered for 28 days to moderate to severe ET patients who are inadequately treated with existing therapies. The primary endpoint will be change from baseline to day 28 of The Essential Tremor Rating Assessment Performance Subscale (TETRAS-PS). Secondary efficacy endpoints for clinician and patient perception of the daily function will include. TETRAS Activity of Daily Living (ADL), Quality of Life in Essential Tremor Questionnaire (QUEST), Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I), Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) and Goal Attainment Scale (GAS). Kinesia One, Kinesia 360 and iMotor will biometrically evaluate motor function and tremor amplitude. Safety will be assessed by adverse events, physical and neurological exams, and laboratory tests. A sample size of 43 patients per group is estimated to have 90% power to detect a 5.5-point difference between CX-8998 and placebo for TETRAS-PS. Efficacy analyses will be performed with covariance (ANCOVA) and 2-sided test at 0.05 significance level.
Discussion: T-CALM has a unique design with physician rating scales, patient-focused questionnaires and scales and objective motor measurements to assess clinically meaningful and congruent efficacy. Patient perception of ET debilitation and therapy with CX-8998 will be key findings. The overall goal of T-CALM is generation of safety and efficacy data to support a go/no-go decision to further develop CX-8998 for ET. Design of T-CALM may guide future clinical studies of ET pharmacotherapies.