Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Experimental immunusuppressant drug preserves transplanted kidneys, avoids toxic side effects

25.08.2005


An international team of transplant physicians has shown that the investigational drug belatacept (LEA29Y) preserves transplanted kidney function as effectively as cyclosporine, the drug most commonly used to prevent the immune system from rejecting transplanted organs. At the same time, belatacept avoids many of the toxic side effects that adversely affect kidney function, blood pressure and cholesterol levels of patients undergoing long-term anti-rejection therapy with immunosuppressant drugs.

The findings from a Phase II clinical trial of belatacept, conducted in 218 patients at 22 centers in the U.S., Canada and Europe between March 2001 and December 2003, are published in the August 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Christian P. Larsen, MD, PhD, director of the Emory Transplant Center and professor of surgery at Emory University School of Medicine, and Flavio Vincenti, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, are co-lead authors of the article.

"The results of this study on the safety and effectiveness of belatacept were as good as we could hope for from the first trial of this new class of drugs in human transplant recipients," Dr. Larsen said. "This arguably is among the most important new classes of immunosuppressive drugs to be evaluated since cyclosporine was introduced more than 20 years ago."



More than 23,000 organ transplants are performed each year in the United States. While current immunosuppressant medications have reduced the incidence of early organ failure following transplants, measures to prevent late failure and to halt other diseases that result from toxic side effects of current treatments have been limited.

Study participants were randomly assigned to receive an intensive or less intensive regimen of belatacept or cyclosporine, in addition to several other drugs that are part of standard immunosuppressive therapy. At six months following transplant the incidence of clinically suspected and biopsy proven acute rejection of transplanted kidneys was similar and not statistically significant among the groups: 6-7 percent of belatacept patients had acute rejection compared to 8 percent of patients receiving cyclosporine. The function of the transplanted kidneys of both groups of patients receiving belatacept was significantly better than in patients receiving cyclosporine. Lipid levels and blood pressure were similar or slightly lower in the belatacept groups, despite greater use of lipid-lowering and antihypertensive medications in the cyclosporine group.

Although kidney transplants are the current standard of care for patients with end-stage renal disease, the immune system’s hostile response to a foreign organ sets off a chain of events that can damage and cause rejection of the transplanted organ. Cyclosporine, the current standard of care following organ transplantation, has shown excellent results in preventing rejection over the short term. Cyclosporine prevents initial organ rejection by effectively blocking certain immune system pathways that are activated when the body detects foreign cells. At the same time, however, cyclosporine indiscriminately blocks other cellular signal pathways, causing serious side effects such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which may lead to cardiovascular disease and kidney toxicity that ultimately leads to renal failure. In addition, long-term cyclosporine use damages the body’s immune system and prevents it from fighting off other infections following transplant.

Belatacept, on the other hand, prevents T-cell activation by selectively blocking one of two signals needed for T-cells to become fully activated and to initiate an immune response against a transplanted organ. Selectively blocking this co-stimulatory signal prevents organ rejection while allowing the body to continue fighting other infections.

Preclinical research conducted with nonhuman primates at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University also showed belatacept was equally as effective as cyclosporine in preventing rejection of kidney transplants while avoiding toxic side effects. The primate research was an important step in establishing human clinical trials to develop an effective alternative to current anti-rejection therapies.

The data from the primate studies and the current clinical trial have formed the basis of a similar international Phase III study of belatacept and kidney transplants as well as exploratory studies using belatacept that avoids both cyclosporine and steroids and a study of islet transplants using belatacept in place of cyclosporine.

Holly Korschun | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.emory.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>