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Treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) With N-acetylcysteine (NAC)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00775476
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : October 20, 2008
Last Update Posted : June 16, 2022
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
State University of New York - Upstate Medical University

Brief Summary:

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory disease which often has debilitating and potentially life-threatening consequences. The cause of SLE is unknown and current therapies lack specificity and carry significant side-effects. We previously discovered the depletion of glutathione in lymphocytes of patients with SLE and associated this metabolic change with the elevation of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential.

This study will titrate to tolerance during an initial 3 month open label period and then subjects will be randomized to one of 2 arms.

It was determined by statistical analysis that each group must have 105 subjects. All subjects will be enrolled and evaluated for tolerance of NAC between dosages of 2.4 g/day and 4.8 g/day for 3 months. After A 3-month open-label dose-titration phase, SLE subjects will be randomized into 2 groups of 105 subjects either to continue the tolerated dosage of NAC or switched to equal number of placebo capsules. There will be up to seven study visits per SLE subject, including the screening and wash out visits. Visits 2-6 will be scheduled three months apart. The study will last 13 months with the wash-out visit. Each subject will donate approximately 100 ml of blood for biomarker studies at each visit. Healthy control subjects will donate blood at the same time. They will be matched to the SLE subjects by gender, age within 10 years, and ethnicity. Their blood will be used as reference for biomarker assays.

There is a consent form required to participate in the phase II study.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Drug: N-acetylcysteine Drug: Placebo Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Subjects will take NAC in a dose range of 2.4 g/day to 4.8 g/day which will be titrated to tolerance during an initial 3-month open label period. After the 3-month open label period, patients in each arm will continue taking equal numbers of capsules representing a dosage that has been titrated to tolerance. As an example, the patients tolerating 2.4 g/day, or 4 capsules containing 600 mg of NAC, after 3 months will be randomized to take 4 NAC or 4 placebo (2.4 g/day dextrose) capsules twice daily for the 9 subsequent months.

The primary outcome variable will be the response (yes/no) in the SLE Respinder Index or SRI at Month 12 (reduction ≥ 4 points in SELENA-SLEDAI score and therefore also called SRI-4; no new BILAG A organ domain score and no more than 1 new BILAG B organ domain score; and no worsening in Physician's Global Assessment (PGA) score) by ≥ 0.3 points versus baseline). A positive response will also require no treatment failure, defined as the need for non-protocol treatment, i.e., new or increased immunosuppressives or antimalarials; increased or parenteral corticosteroids; or premature discontinuation from study treatment. Corticosteroids can be tapered off at the investigator's discretion, based on disease activity. Four weeks after randomization, once tapered, corticosteroids can only be increased again to the dosage preceding the last taper step; any larger increase will be deemed a treatment failure. In addition, any increase in corticosteroid dosage during the last 3 months of the trial will result in declaration of treatment failure.

We will monitor tolerance and safety, and assess SLEDAI, BILAG, FAS, PROMIS, ASRS, prednisone use, liver and bone marrow function as secondary outcomes.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 290 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description: This study will titrate to tolerance during an initial 3 month open label period and then subjects will be randomized to one of 2 arms.
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) With N-acetylcysteine (NAC) (SNAC)
Actual Study Start Date : March 31, 2022
Estimated Primary Completion Date : March 2026
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2027

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Lupus

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: NAC
2.4 g - 4.8 g of NAC daily starting after 3 month open label titration period.
Drug: N-acetylcysteine
Capsules of NAC, each containing 600 mg of NAC between dosages of 2.4 g to 4.8 g daily

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
2.4 g - 4.8 g of placebo per day after 3 month open label titration period.
Drug: Placebo
placebo (sugar) twice daily, daily dosage will match that of NAC that was tolerated between daily dosages of 2.4 g and 4.8 g during the open-label titration phase.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Therapeutic benefit [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
    Positive response on the SLE Responder Index (SRI) in the NAC arm vs placebo

  2. Improvement of disease activity [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
    Improvement of disease activity as measurable by the reduction of SLEDAI or BILAG disease activity scores and the reduction of prednisone usage

  3. Tolerance and safety [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
    Monitor adverse events and tolerance of the study drug

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Immunobiological outcomes measurable improved lymphocyte function [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
    Immunobiological outcomes measurable by improved markers of glutathioen depletion, mitochondrial function and activation of T and B lymphocytes

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

Age > 18 years old.

SLE with ≥ 4 of eleven diagnostic criteria approved by the American College of Rheumatology

Stable immunosuppressants (MMF ≤ 3 g/day, azathioprine ≤ 100 mg/day; methotrexate ≤ 15 mg/day) and/or antimalarials (hydroxychloroquine ≤ 400 mg/day) for 30 days prior to screening; stable oral corticosteroids for 2 weeks prior to screening; ≤ 20 mg/day prednisone or equivalent; stable belimumab for 90 days prior to screening;

BILAG 2004 index level A disease activity in ≥ 1 organ/system except renal or central nervous system or (ii) BILAG 2004 index level B disease activity in ≥ 2 organs/systems if no level A disease activity is present and (iii) SLEDAI ≥ 6;

Exclusion Criteria:

Acute flare of SLE threatening vital organs and requiring intravenous

Pregnant or lactating

Moderately serious or serious comorbidities (e.g., diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic renal insufficiency)

Patients receiving cyclophosphamide within 3 months

Active chronic infections (e.g., HIV, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, mycobacteria); patient with oral steroid-dependent asthma;

Infections requiring intravenous antibiotics within a month or oral antibiotics within two weeks of screening; Patients taking (unwilling or unable to stop) NAC or other antioxidants within 1 month of screening

Patients who participated in the pilot RCT or are taking daily acetaminophen (</= 1 g/day PRN is allowed if documented)

Patients receiving rituximab within 12 months or other biologic therapy within five half-lives

Patients receiving mTOR inhibitors (rapamycin/sirolimus, everolimus)

Patients enrolled in other interventional trials

Healthy subjects serve as controls for in vitro immunological studies

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): NCT00775476

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Contact: Andras Perl, M.D., Ph.D. (315) 464-4194 perla@upstate.edu
Contact: Joanne M. Chilton, B.S. (315) 464-1779 chiltonj@upstate.edu

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United States, New York
SUNY Upstate Medical University Recruiting
Syracuse, New York, United States, 13210
Contact: Andras Perl, M.D., Ph.D.    315-464-4194    perla@upstate.edu   
Contact: Joanne M Chilton, B.S.    (315) 464-1779    chiltonj@upstate.edu   
Principal Investigator: Andras Perl, M.D., Ph.D.         
Sub-Investigator: Jihad Ben Gabr, M.D.         
Sub-Investigator: Sheetal Rayancha, M.D.         
SUNY Upstate Medical University Recruiting
Syracuse, New York, United States, 13210
Contact: Joanne M Chilton, B.S.    315-464-1779    chiltonj@upstate.edu   
Sponsors and Collaborators
State University of New York - Upstate Medical University
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Principal Investigator: Andras Perl, M.D., Ph.D. State University of New York - Upstate Medical University
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: State University of New York - Upstate Medical University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00775476    
Other Study ID Numbers: IRBnet # 1566736
NIH Award #1U01AR076092 - 01A1
First Posted: October 20, 2008    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: June 16, 2022
Last Verified: June 2022

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by State University of New York - Upstate Medical University:
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
Connective Tissue Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Antiviral Agents
Anti-Infective Agents
Respiratory System Agents
Free Radical Scavengers
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Protective Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs