Desensitization With Belimumab in Sensitized Patients Awaiting Kidney Transplant

This study has been terminated.
(has not demonstrated efficacy in primary goal)
Human Genome Sciences Inc.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Pennsylvania Identifier:
First received: December 1, 2009
Last updated: January 10, 2012
Last verified: January 2012
If subjects are listed for kidney transplant and are considered sensitized, this means they have a high amount of antibodies in their blood that could react to a kidney transplant offered for them. Antibodies are protein substances made by the body that fight anything that the body considers as a threat to it, such as infection or a kidney transplant. Sensitization may be due to prior transplants, pregnancy, or blood transfusions. Being sensitized can increase the subject's kidney transplant waiting time as it is more difficult to find a suitable kidney transplant for them that their antibodies will not react to. The purpose of this research study is to see if giving the investigational drug belimumab up to one year pre-transplant can de-sensitize the subjects, or decrease the amount of antibodies in their blood. This may help make the subjects eligible to receive a kidney transplant more quickly. If after receiving belimumab, the subjects are compatible with a donor kidney offered and are medically suitable for transplant at that time, a kidney transplant will be performed.

Condition Intervention Phase
Desensitization Before Kidney Transplant
Drug: Belimumab
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: One Year Exploratory Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Belimumab for Normalization of Alloantibody Levels in Sensitized Patients Awaiting Kidney Transplantation

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Pennsylvania:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • To assess the effectiveness of belimumab for decreasing antibody levels in sensitized patients awaiting kidney transplantation. [ Time Frame: up to one year pre-transplant ]
  • To determine whether reduction in antibody levels by belimumab therapy permits subsequent successful kidney transplantation from a cross-match compatible donor. [ Time Frame: up to one year pre-transplant ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • To describe the pharmacokinetics of belimumab in sensitized patients awaiting kidney transplantation. [ Time Frame: up to one year pre-transplant ]
  • To assess the safety of belimumab in sensitized patients awaiting kidney transplant [ Time Frame: up to one year pre-transplant ]

Enrollment: 8
Study Start Date: February 2010
Estimated Study Completion Date: January 2012
Primary Completion Date: October 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Belimumab
Belimumab is a monoclonal antibody. It is the first drug of its type in a new class of medications called BLyS-specific inhibitors. In March 2011, it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult patients with active, autoantibody-positive, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who are receiving standard therapy. In this study, belimumab is being used in to try to decrease the amount of antibodies in the subject's blood pre-kidney transplant. This use is considered investigational (not approved by the Food and Drug Administration).
Drug: Belimumab
The subjects will be given this medication as an outpatient as an intravenous infusion through the arm. The medication will be given at the beginning of the study, two weeks later, and then every 4 weeks for up to one year pre-transplant.
Other Names:
  • registered name Benlysta
  • also previously known as LymphoStat-B

Detailed Description:
Approximately one third of patients awaiting kidney transplant at our transplant center have significant levels of antibodies in their blood leading to a longer wait time for a kidney transplant and death. Antibodies in the blood may be due to prior transplants, pregnancy, or blood transfusions. These antibodies sensitize a patient and make it more difficult for the patient to get a compatible kidney transplant. The measure of these antibodies is called panel reactive antibodies (PRA) and can range from 0-100%, with 100% being most sensitized. The waiting time for patients with a PRA in the range of 20%-79% is over 5 years as compared to patients with low PRA (0%-19%) which is 3-4 years. Patients with a PRA greater than 80% are likely to be granted extra points to increase the chances of transplantation. Antibodies in these patients may be due to prior transplants, pregnancy, or blood transfusions. To date, no trials with belimumab have been performed in patients with pre-existing antibodies awaiting kidney transplantation. This study is undertaken to assess the effectiveness and safety of using belimumab to normalize antibody levels in sensitized patients awaiting kidney transplantation. It is hoped that decreasing these antibodies will decrease the waiting time on the kidney transplant list, and allow the patient to become compatible with a donor kidney for transplant.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Male or female patients aged 18 -75 years.
  • Patients denied a kidney transplant because of a prior positive crossmatch
  • Patients awaiting a first or second kidney transplant from a living or deceased donor
  • Patients who have given written informed consent to participate in all aspects of the study.
  • Patients with no potential living donors should have accumulated at least 12 months waiting time in our organ procurement organization
  • And one of the following criteria:
  • Pre-sensitized patients defined by Luminex antibody assays and whose panel reactive antibody (PRA) is 20% or greater
  • Patients with a PRA of less than 20% but who have HLA antibody specificities to HLA-Cw, DP or allele-specific antigens

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with known hypersensitivity to belimumab or who have received biologics, within the last 90 days
  • Patients receiving corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate mofetil, or azathioprine from 90 days prior to study entry until day of transplant.
  • Patients with a history of anaphylaxis to parenteral administration of contrast agents, foreign proteins, or monoclonal antibodies.
  • Patients with multi-organ transplant
  • Patients who have received any investigational immunosuppressive drug within 1 month of inclusion into this study or if use of such a product is anticipated.
  • Patients who have received any live vaccine within 30 days of study entry.
  • Female patients who are pregnant, lactating.
  • Female patients of child bearing potential and not willing to practice an approved method of birth control for 1 month prior to the start of the study agent and 8 weeks after the last dose of study agent.
  • Male patients who are not agreeable to using effective contraception throughout the study and for 3 months after the last dose of study agent.
  • Patients with a known malignancy or history of malignancy other than excised basal or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.
  • Patients who are positive for Hepatitis B infection, Hepatitis C infection or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-positive patients.
  • Patients with evidence of severe liver disease, including abnormal liver profile tests > 3 times upper limit of normal at screening.
  • Patients with current severe infection.
  • Patients with any surgical or medical condition, which in the opinion of the investigator precludes enrollment in this trial
  • Patients who live far from the transplant center and are unable to comply with all study visits.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01025193

United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsyvlania Kidney Transplant Program
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pennsylvania
Human Genome Sciences Inc.
Principal Investigator: Ali Naji, MD, Ph D University of Pennsylvania
  More Information

Responsible Party: University of Pennsylvania Identifier: NCT01025193     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: IND 106342 
Study First Received: December 1, 2009
Last Updated: January 10, 2012

Keywords provided by University of Pennsylvania:
LymphoStat B
BLyS specific inhibitors

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Immunosuppressive Agents
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on January 24, 2017