[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of belimumab versus placebo, plus standard systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) therapy, on organ domain-specific SLE disease activity. METHODS: Data obtained after 52 weeks of treatment from two phase III trials (BLISS-52 and BLISS-76) comparing belimumab 1 and 10 mg/kg versus placebo, plus standard therapy, in 1684 autoantibody-positive patients were analysed post hoc for changes in British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (BILAG) and Safety of Estrogens in Lupus National Assessment-Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SELENA-SLEDAI) organ domain scores. RESULTS: At baseline, the domains involved in the majority of patients were musculoskeletal and mucocutaneous by both BILAG and SELENA-SLEDAI, and immunological by SELENA-SLEDAI. At 52 weeks, significantly more patients treated with belimumab versus placebo had improvement in BILAG musculoskeletal and mucocutaneous domains (1 and 10 mg/kg), and in SELENA-SLEDAI mucocutaneous (10 mg/kg), musculoskeletal (1 mg/kg) and immunological (1 and 10 mg/kg) domains. Improvement was also observed in other organ systems with a low prevalence (≤16%) at baseline, including the SELENA-SLEDAI vasculitis and central nervous system domains. Significantly fewer patients treated with belimumab versus placebo had worsening in the BILAG haematological domain (1 mg/kg) and in the SELENA-SLEDAI immunological (10 mg/kg), haematological (10 mg/kg) and renal (1 mg/kg) domains. CONCLUSIONS: Belimumab treatment improved overall SLE disease activity in the most common musculoskeletal and mucocutaneous organ domains. Less worsening occurred in the haematological, immunological and renal domains.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 05/2012; 71(11):1833-1838. · 8.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the efficacy/safety of the B lymphocyte stimulator inhibitor belimumab plus standard therapy compared with placebo plus standard therapy in active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
In a phase III, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 819 antinuclear antibody-positive or anti-double-stranded DNA-positive SLE patients with scores ≥6 on the Safety of Estrogens in Lupus Erythematosus National Assessment (SELENA) version of the SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) were randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive 1 mg/kg belimumab, 10 mg/kg belimumab, or placebo intravenously on days 0, 14, and 28 and then every 28 days for 72 weeks. The primary efficacy end point was the SLE Responder Index (SRI) response rate at week 52 (an SRI response was defined as a ≥4-point reduction in SELENA-SLEDAI score, no new British Isles Lupus Assessment Group [BILAG] A organ domain score and no more than 1 new BILAG B score, and no worsening in physician's global assessment score versus baseline).
Belimumab at 10 mg/kg plus standard therapy met the primary efficacy end point, generating a significantly greater SRI response at week 52 compared with placebo (43.2% versus 33.5%; P = 0.017). The rate with 1 mg/kg belimumab was 40.6% (P = 0.089). Response rates at week 76 were 32.4%, 39.1%, and 38.5% with placebo, 1 mg/kg belimumab, and 10 mg/kg belimumab, respectively. In post hoc sensitivity analyses evaluating higher SELENA-SLEDAI score thresholds, 10 mg/kg belimumab achieved better discrimination at weeks 52 and 76. Risk of severe flares over 76 weeks (based on the modified SLE Flare Index) was reduced with 1 mg/kg belimumab (34%) (P = 0.023) and 10 mg/kg belimumab (23%) (P = 0.13). Serious and severe adverse events, including infections, laboratory abnormalities, malignancies, and deaths, were comparable across groups.
Belimumab plus standard therapy significantly improved SRI response rate, reduced SLE disease activity and severe flares, and was generally well tolerated in SLE.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand the effects of long-term BLyS inhibition in human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Seventeen patients with SLE who were enrolled in a clinical trial of belimumab, a BLyS-specific inhibitor, plus standard of care therapy were studied. Phenotypic analysis of lymphocytes was performed using flow cytometry. Circulating antibody-secreting cells were enumerated using enzyme-linked immunospot assay. Serum was analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using an antibody that recognizes products of the V(H)4-34 gene. Lymphocyte counts, Ig levels, and anti-double-stranded DNA antibody levels were available as part of the clinical trial analyses.
Samples were collected on days 0, 84, 168, 365, and 532 and after day 730. The total number of B cells started to decrease from baseline between days 84 and 168. This was due to a decrease in naive and transitional B cells. CD27+IgD+ memory B cells and plasmablasts decreased only after 532 days, whereas CD27+IgD- memory B cells were not affected, and there were no changes in T cells. Serum IgM levels began to decline between days 84 and 168, but there were no changes in serum levels of IgG, IgG anti-DNA antibodies, or V(H)4-34 antibodies during the study. SLE patients had more IgM-, IgG-, and autoantibody-producing B cells than did normal controls on day 0. There was only a modest decrease in the frequency of total IgM-producing, but not IgG-producing, cells on days 365 and 532, consistent with the phenotypic and serologic data.
Our data confirm the dependence of newly formed B cells on BLyS for survival in humans. In contrast, memory B cells and plasma cells are less susceptible to selective BLyS inhibition.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This trial evaluated the safety, biologic activity, and pharmacokinetics of belimumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the biologic activity of the soluble form of the essential B-cell survival factor B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Seventy patients with mild-to-moderate SLE were enrolled in a phase I, double-blind, randomized study and treated with placebo (n = 13) or belimumab (n = 57) at four different doses (1.0, 4.0, 10, and 20 mg/kg) as a single infusion or two infusions 21 days apart. Patients were followed for 84 to 105 days to assess adverse events, pharmacokinetics, peripheral blood B-cell counts, serology, and SLE disease activity. Data from the study were summarized using descriptive statistics. chi2 type tests were used to analyze discrete variables. The Kruskal-Wallis test, the Wilcoxon test, and the analysis of covariance were used to analyze the continuous variables, as appropriate. The analysis was performed on all randomized patients who received study agent.
The incidences of adverse events and laboratory abnormalities were similar among the belimumab and placebo groups. Belimumab pharmacokinetics were linear across the 1.0 to 20 mg/kg dose range. Long terminal elimination half-life (8.5 to 14.1 days), slow clearance (7 ml/day per kg), and small volume of distribution (69 to 112 ml/kg) were consistent with a fully human antibody. Significant reductions in median percentages of CD20+ B cells were observed in patients treated with a single dose of belimumab versus placebo (day 42: P = 0.0042; and day 84: P = 0.0036) and in patients treated with two doses of belimumab versus placebo (day 105: P = 0.0305). SLE disease activity did not change after one or two doses of belimumab.
Belimumab was well tolerated and reduced peripheral B-cell levels in SLE patients. These data support further studies of belimumab in autoimmune disorders.
Arthritis research & therapy 10/2008; 10(5):R109. · 4.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abetimus sodium has been under development for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus since the early 1990s. Because its administration results in the selective reduction of circulating double-stranded DNA antibodies, La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company has focused on the agent's ability to prolong time to nephritic flare. Fourteen trials have been initiated since 1994, but the two pivotal registration trials failed to meet primary end points. The US Food and Drug Administration issued a letter in October 2004 that stated abetimus sodium was "approvable" pending the successful completion of a trial demonstrating clinical benefit. The fate of this agent lies in the ability of the company to successfully complete a phase III study.
Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America 03/2006; 32(1):149-56, x. · 2.10 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD40-CD40 ligand (CD40L) interactions play a significant role in the production of autoantibodies and tissue injury in lupus nephritis. We performed an open-label, multiple-dose study to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of BG9588, a humanized anti-CD40L antibody, in patients with proliferative lupus nephritis. The primary outcome measure was 50% reduction in proteinuria without worsening of renal function.
Twenty-eight patients with active proliferative lupus nephritis were scheduled to receive 20 mg/kg of BG9588 at biweekly intervals for the first 3 doses and at monthly intervals for 4 additional doses. Safety evaluations were performed on all patients. Eighteen patients receiving at least 3 doses were evaluated for efficacy.
The study was terminated prematurely because of thromboembolic events occurring in patients in this and other BG9588 protocols (2 myocardial infarctions in this study). Of the 18 patients for whom efficacy could be evaluated, 2 had a 50% reduction in proteinuria without worsening of renal function. Mean reductions of 38.9% (P < 0.005), 50.1% (P < 0.005), and 25.3% (P < 0.05) in anti-double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) antibody titers were observed at 1, 2, and 3 months, respectively, after the last treatment. There was a significant increase in serum C3 concentrations at 1 month after the last dose (P < 0.005), and hematuria disappeared in all 5 patients with significant hematuria at baseline. There were no statistically significant reductions in lymphocyte count or serum immunoglobulin, anticardiolipin antibody, or rubella IgG antibody concentrations after therapy.
A short course of BG9588 treatment in patients with proliferative lupus nephritis reduces anti-dsDNA antibodies, increases C3 concentrations, and decreases hematuria, suggesting that the drug has immunomodulatory action. Additional studies will be needed to evaluate its long-term effects.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the immunologic effects of anti-CD40 ligand (anti-CD40L) therapy in 5 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus nephritis who participated in an open-label study of a humanized anti-CD40L monoclonal antibody.
Serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells were obtained before, during, and after treatment, and the frequency of Ig and anti-DNA antibody-secreting B cells was analyzed by enzyme-linked immunospot assay and by analysis of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-transformed B cell lines. To determine the effect of treatment on somatic mutation of Ig genes, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction was performed on messenger RNA from 4 patients, using primers specific for the DP-47 heavy chain gene and for IgG. Finally, B cell phenotype was investigated using flow cytometry.
Even a brief period of treatment with anti-CD40L markedly reduced the frequency of IgG and IgG anti-DNA antibody-producing B cells, and these changes persisted for several months after cessation of treatment. To confirm these findings, EBV-transformed B cell lines were screened from each of 3 patients, and a 10-fold decrease in anti-DNA antibody-secreting cell lines was found after treatment in all 3 patients. Few differences in mutation patterns were observed before and after treatment; however, the frequency of germline-encoded DP-47 sequences was significantly increased before treatment and normalized following treatment. Flow cytometric analysis of B cells revealed expansion of a CD27-/IgD- B cell subset in some of the patients, which did not change with treatment.
These are the first mechanistic studies of the effect of anti-CD40L therapy in human autoimmune disease. The results suggest that further studies of CD40L blockade are warranted.