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Efficacy of Anti-CD20 Antibodies (Rituximab Biosimilar) in the Treatment of Childhood Steroid-dependent Nephrotic Syndrome

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04402580
Recruitment Status : Terminated (due to unexpectedly high rate of relapse in the active comparator arm.)
First Posted : May 27, 2020
Last Update Posted : September 14, 2020
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
Bambino Gesù Hospital and Research Institute
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Gian Marco Ghiggeri MD, PhD, Istituto Giannina Gaslini

Brief Summary:

Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies are emerging as the steroid-sparing therapy of choice for nephrotic syndrome.

This Randomized Clinical Trial seeks to evaluate whether Rituximab biosimilar maintains drug-free disease remission in patientswith steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome for 12-24 months and verify its superiority vs. mycophenolate mofetil, the reference standard therapy. The investigators will compare the risk of relapse to test this hypothesis (primary outcome). Secondary objectives will include assessing short- and long-term side-effects and developing specific biomarkers of sensitivity to therapy. Patients will be recruited, treated and followed at IRCCS G Gaslini and IRCCS Bambino Gesù where laboratory studies will be performed at in-site facilities


Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Nephrotic Syndrome Steroid-Dependent Drug: Rituximab Biosimilar Drug: Mycophenolate Mofetil Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (NS) is characterized by proteinuria and hypoalbuminemia associated with dyslipidemia and hypercoagulability. Oral corticosteroids are the cornerstone of therapy and induce disease remission in approximately 90% of cases. However, up to 85% of patients relapse and many develop steroid dependence (SDNS), requiring prolonged dose of steroids to maintain remission. Clinical practice guidelines (KDIGO) suggest using low-dose prednisone to maintain remission in SDNS and Mycophenolate Mofetil (MMF) or calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) as corticosteroid-sparing agents for children who develop steroid adverse effects. Given the toxicity of all these drugs (steroids, CNI and MMF), there is a need to investigate alternative options. Recent evidence supports the use of chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies in simple SDNS (Rituximab, RTX).

The RTX4 trial is an open-label, two-parallel-arm, controlled and randomized clinical trial testing the superiority of RTX over MMF in maintaining steroid free disease remission in patients with SDNS.

Eligible participants are children and young adults (age between 3 and 24 years) with nephrotic syndrome who are dependent on prednisone 0.3-1mg/Kg/day and have received prednisone for at least six months before enrolment. Previous treatment with MMF will be allowed. All participants will enter a 45 days run-in period, during which children treated with steroids alone will start MMF 1,200 mg/1,73 sqm orally in 2 daily doses and will taper steroids after 15 days by 0.3 mg/kg per week until complete withdrawal. Patients already receiving MMF alone will continue the treatment. During the same period, instruction on urine collection and dipstick readings will be carefully reviewed and compliance assessed. After run-in period, children will be randomized to either the intervention arm (Rituximab, 375mg/m2) or the comparator arm (continuing or starting MMF). In the intervention arm, 1 month after infusion MMF will be decreased by 50% and withdrawn within 2 additional weeks, whereas MMF will be maintained in the comparator. All patients will be followed for up to 24 months. In case of relapses during this period (see outcome section for definition) patients will be treated with oral prednisone (60 mg/sqm day). Following remission, steroids will be maintained at the initial dose for 7 days and then tapered off by 0.3 mg/kg per week until complete withdrawal in patients of the MMF arm. Patients of the intervention arm will instead be treated with another infusion of RTX (same dose) immediately following steroid-induced remission. After infusion of RTX, steroids will be maintained at the initial dose for 7 days and then tapered off by 0.3 mg/kg per week until complete withdrawal. In this way relapsed patients in both arms will receive the same cumulative dose of prednisone. In case following relapse of proteinuria patients fail to respond to prednisone (they will terminate the study and be considered as treatment failure). The study allows drop-in from one arm to the other after 3 relapses (i.e., investigators will be allowed to use RTX in the comparator arm and vice versa MMF in intervention arm). The economic balance will be calculated on the basis of RTX doses needed to maintain remittance.

All patients will be followed for 24 months. In person visits will occure at enrollment, at T0 (infusion), after 1 month and every 3/6 months later.

The investigators are going to enroll 160 patients.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 30 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description: The RTX4 trial is an open-label, two-parallel-arm, controlled and randomized clinical trial testing the superiority of RTX over MMF in maintaining steroid free disease remission in patients with SDNS
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Efficacy of Chimeric Monoclonal Anti-CD20 Antibodies (Rituximab Biosimilar) in the Treatment of Childhood Steroid-dependent Nephrotic Syndrome and Development of Cell Biomarkers Predicting Outcome. The RTX 4 Trial.
Actual Study Start Date : July 1, 2019
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 31, 2020
Actual Study Completion Date : August 31, 2020


Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Rituximab biosimilar
  • Drug Name: Rituximab biosimilar monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody
  • Why: Anti-body/antigen interaction results in cell apoptosis and reduced CD20 positive cell related activities (of note CD20 is mostly represented on B cells but also in Th17 cells)
  • How: RTX IV: for dosage between 100 and 250 mg Rituximab will be diluted in 100 ml of normal saline and administered at 2 ml/h for the first 30'; 3 ml/h for the second 30'; 6 ml/h for the third 30'; 15 ml/h until the end. For dosage between 260 and 500 mg Rituximab will be diluted in 250 ml of normal saline and administered at 6 ml/h for the first 30'; 9 ml/h for the second 30'; 18 ml/h for the third 30'; 36 ml/h until the end. For dosage between 510 and 1000 mg Rituximab will be diluted in 500 ml of normal saline and administered at 9 ml/h for the first 30'; thereafter, the infusion rate can be doubled every 30 minutes up to a maximum of 72 ml/h.
  • Where: in Hospital
  • When and how much: once; diluted in 1000 ml of normal saline.
Drug: Rituximab Biosimilar
for dosage between 100 and 250 mg Rituximab will be diluted in 100 ml of normal saline and administered at 2 ml/h for the first 30'; 3 ml/h for the second 30'; 6 ml/h for the third 30'; 15 ml/h until the end. For dosage between 260 and 500 mg Rituximab will be diluted in 250 ml of normal saline and administered at 6 ml/h for the first 30'; 9 ml/h for the second 30'; 18 ml/h for the third 30'; 36 ml/h until the end. For dosage between 510 and 1000 mg Rituximab will be diluted in 500 ml of normal saline and administered at 9 ml/h for the first 30'; thereafter, the infusion rate can be doubled every 30 minutes up to a maximum of 72 ml/h.

Active Comparator: Mycophenolate Mofetil

Drug Name: Mycophenolate Mofetil (MMF)

  • Why: selective and reversible inhibition of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase with inhibition that particularly affects lymphocytes since they rely almost exclusively de novo purine synthesis
  • Procedures: MMF 1,200 mg/1,73 sqm orally divided in 2 daily doses
Drug: Mycophenolate Mofetil
1,200 mg/1,73 sqm orally divided in 2 daily doses




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Comparison between RTX and MMF, considering number of partecipants and relative relapses in the two cohorts [ Time Frame: 12-24 months ]
    The first expected result of the project is the demonstration that a single infusion of RTX is more likely than MMF to maintain remission of NS for 12-24 months in children with primary SDNS. In order to evaluate the remission, all the partecipats will document their proteinuria, relapse is defined by uPCR ≥2000 mg/g (≥ 200 mg/mmol) or > 3+ protein on urine dipstick for 3 consecutive days (KDIGO Clinical Practice Guideline for Glomerulonephritis, Kidney International Supplement, 2012 2, 163-171) and complete remission is defined by uPCR <200 mg/g (<20 mg/mmol) or o1+ of protein on urine dipstick for 3 consecutive days (KDIGO Clinical Practice Guideline for Glomerulonephritis, Kidney International Supplement, 2012 2, 163-171).


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. RTX safety by evaluation and documentation of side effects [ Time Frame: 36 months ]
    A second result of the study will be based on the side-effects that RTX may induce: the investigators will record and measure frequency and severity of any treatment-related adverse events as assessed by CTCAE v4.0


Other Outcome Measures:
  1. Biomarkers of response to RTX and evaluation of immune competence in patients treated with RTX vs. patients treated with MMF [ Time Frame: 36 months ]
    A third expected result is the identification of biomarkers of response to RTX and evaluation of immune competence in patients treated with RTX vs. patients treated with MMF. Mononuclear cells (PBMCs) will be characterized by flow cytometry. Samples for cell analysis will be obtained at the start of run-in (-45 days), at time 0 and after 3, 12 and 24 months; the same analysis will be performed in case of relapse. In parallel, total IgG, IgA and IgM levels will be assessed to evaluate the effect of B cell depletion on antibody production.



Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   3 Years to 24 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

To be eligible for inclusion into this study, participants will have to fulfil the following criteria:

  • Age between 3 and 24 years
  • Prednison dependent steroid syndrome 0.3-1mg/Kg/day and receive prednisone for at least six months before enrolment. Steroid dependence is defined by two consecutive relapse during corticosteroid therapy or within 14 days of ceasing therapy.
  • Ability to provide consent and assent: parents'/guardian's written informed consent, and child's assent given before any study-related procedure not part of the subject's normal medical care, with the understanding that consent may be withdrawn by the subject any time without prejudice to his or her future medical care.

Exclusion Criteria:

Children will be excluded if any of the following criteria apply:

  • Positivity to autoimmunity tests (ANA, nDNA, ANCA)
  • Reduction of C3 levels.
  • eGFR<90/ml/min/1,73 m2 valuated according to revised Bedside Schwartz Formula for patients between 2 and 17 years and with CKD-EPI Creatinine 2009 Equation for 18 years old patients.
  • Pregnancy
  • Neoplasm
  • Infections: previous or actual HBV (with HBeAb positivity) or HCV infection
  • CD20 B lymphocytes count <2,5%
  • Treatment with Rituximab or cyclophosphamide in the last 6 months

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT04402580


Locations
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Italy
IRCCS Istituto Giannina Gaslini
Genova, Italy, 16148
Sponsors and Collaborators
Istituto Giannina Gaslini
Bambino Gesù Hospital and Research Institute
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Gianmarco Ghiggeri, MD IRCCS Istituto Giannina Gaslini
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Responsible Party: Gian Marco Ghiggeri MD, PhD, MD, director of Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation Unit, Istituto Giannina Gaslini
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04402580    
Other Study ID Numbers: RTX4
First Posted: May 27, 2020    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 14, 2020
Last Verified: September 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Yes
Plan Description:

The completed study will be summarized in a final report that accurately and completely presents the study objectives, methods, results, limitations of the study, and interpretation of findings.

The first publication will be an in extenso publication of the results of the validation of the project.

The Authors of this study protocol will inform the contributing investigators in advance about any plans to publish or present data from this randomized controlled clinical trial. Any publications and presentations of the results (abstract in journals or newspapers, oral presentations, etc.), either in whole or in part, by Investigators or their representatives will require pre-submission review by the Authors of this study protocol.


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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Gian Marco Ghiggeri MD, PhD, Istituto Giannina Gaslini:
nephrotic syndrome treatment
rituximab
Mycophenolate Mofetil
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Nephrotic Syndrome
Nephrosis
Syndrome
Disease
Pathologic Processes
Kidney Diseases
Urologic Diseases
Mycophenolic Acid
Rituximab
Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
Antineoplastic Agents
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antirheumatic Agents
Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
Antibiotics, Antitubercular
Antitubercular Agents
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Anti-Infective Agents
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action