Four-Year Belatacept Results Presented at ATC
Belatacept co-developer Dr. Chris Larsen presented the four-year results from the extension of the BENEFIT study at the June 2012 American Transplant Congress (ATC). BENEFIT is a randomized, phase III study of adults receiving kidney transplants from living or deceased donors. Overall, the results were much like 2011's and showed that the FDA-approved belatacept (Nuvojix) continued to be safe and effective. The new generation anti-rejection drug has comparable patient and graft survival rates and better renal function rates than those for patients taking a cyclosporine-based regimen, but higher rates and grades of acute rejection.
"The increased renal function rates in patients in the early post-transplant period taking belatacept over those taking cyclosporine was maintained at four years," said Dr. Larsen, executive director of the Emory Transplant Center, chair of the Department of Surgery at Emory, and the lead author of the study.
Although belatacept and cyclosporine have similar graft survival rates, patients receiving belatacept had higher kidney function and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Belatacept can also be given every few weeks compared with calcineurin inhibitors, including cyclosporine, that are taken twice a day.
The study involved collaboration with Emory and Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición "Salvador Zubirán" and Hospital Miguel Hidalgo de Aguascalientes, Mexico; the Hospital Provado Centro Medico de Córdoba, Argentina; University Hospital, Toulouse, France; Bristol-Myers Squibb, New Jersey; and the University of California San Francisco.