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J Am Soc Nephrol ; 32(3): 708-722, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496675


BACKGROUND: Late antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) is a leading cause of transplant failure. Blocking IL-6 has been proposed as a promising therapeutic strategy. METHODS: We performed a phase 2 randomized pilot trial to evaluate the safety (primary endpoint) and efficacy (secondary endpoint analysis) of the anti-IL-6 antibody clazakizumab in late ABMR. The trial included 20 kidney transplant recipients with donor-specific, antibody-positive ABMR ≥365 days post-transplantation. Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive 25 mg clazakizumab or placebo (4-weekly subcutaneous injections) for 12 weeks (part A), followed by a 40-week open-label extension (part B), during which time all participants received clazakizumab. RESULTS: Five (25%) patients under active treatment developed serious infectious events, and two (10%) developed diverticular disease complications, leading to trial withdrawal. Those receiving clazakizumab displayed significantly decreased donor-specific antibodies and, on prolonged treatment, modulated rejection-related gene-expression patterns. In 18 patients, allograft biopsies after 51 weeks revealed a negative molecular ABMR score in seven (38.9%), disappearance of capillary C4d deposits in five (27.8%), and resolution of morphologic ABMR activity in four (22.2%). Although proteinuria remained stable, the mean eGFR decline during part A was slower with clazakizumab compared with placebo (-0.96; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], -1.96 to 0.03 versus -2.43; 95% CI, -3.40 to -1.46 ml/min per 1.73 m2 per month, respectively, P=0.04). During part B, the slope of eGFR decline for patients who were switched from placebo to clazakizumab improved and no longer differed significantly from patients initially allocated to clazakizumab. CONCLUSIONS: Although safety data indicate the need for careful patient selection and monitoring, our preliminary efficacy results suggest a potentially beneficial effect of clazakizumab on ABMR activity and progression.

Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Graft Rejection/therapy , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Kidney Transplantation/adverse effects , Adult , Allografts , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/adverse effects , Double-Blind Method , Female , Glomerular Filtration Rate , Graft Rejection/immunology , Graft Rejection/physiopathology , Humans , Infections/etiology , Interleukin-6/immunology , Isoantibodies/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Tissue Donors , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult