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Testing SIROLIMUS in Beta-thalassemia Transfusion Dependent Patients (SIRTHALACLIN)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03877809
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 18, 2019
Last Update Posted : May 3, 2022
Università degli Studi di Ferrara
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Rare Partners srl Impresa Sociale

Brief Summary:
Beta-thalassemias are hereditary blood disorders caused by reduced or absent synthesis of hemoglobin beta chains, with variable outcomes ranging from severe anemia to clinically asymptomatic individuals. Treatment is symptomatic and thalassemia is a major unmet medical need. Survival is increased, even in patients needing transfusions, in comparison with a few years ago, but the quality of life is poor for many patients. In some patients, an anomalous expression of gamma-globin genes has been observed, with a consequent rise in Fetal Hemoglobin levels. The patients displaying a clinical phenotype known as Hereditary Persistence of Fetal Hemoglobin (HPFH) exhibit a positive clinical status. To mimick HPFH, several compounds able to induce expression of fetal hemoglobins (HbF) have been evaluated. Within this framework, sirolimus is particularly interesting as an inducer of HbF. It has been used for many years for different indications and the available preclinical evidence warrant the start of a clinical development plan in thalassemia. The investigators propose a clinical trial in beta-thalassemia patients, designed to evaluate the effect of sirolimus on several parameters related to red blood cell status and to the level of HbF in particular, as a first step for the full clinical development in this new indication.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Beta-Thalassemia Drug: Sirolimus 0.5 mg Phase 2

Detailed Description:

The general aim of the protocol is to demonstrate the applicability of a personalised and precision medicine approach in beta-thalassemia in a clinical trial setting for a repurposed drug, namely sirolimus. The presence of high level of Fetal Hemoglobin (HbF) is considered a condition predictive of a favourable outcome in thalassemia and its increase induced by pharmacological agents is considered a potential way to improve clinical status of the patients. In the present trial, in terms of efficacy analysis, the investigators will focus their attention on HbF levels.

Primary objective:

• To evaluate the suitability of sirolimus for the treatment of beta-thalassemia patients within the frame of a comprehensive project aimed to the reduction of their transfusions need (consequently ameliorating their quality of life). This goal can be obtained through a pharmacologically mediated increased level of HbF, with a prerequisite to be verified, namely the correlation between induction of HbF in vitro and in vivo in single patients.

Secondary objectives:

  • To assess safety of sirolimus and correlation between administered dose and blood levels in beta-thalassemia patients,
  • To assess the influence of sirolimus on transfusion regimen
  • To assess the effect of sirolimus on hematopoietic and immune system of thalassemia patients.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 26 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Intervention Model Description: Interventional, pilot, single centre, open-label phase II study with sirolimus in patients with transfusion dependent beta-thalassemia
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Personalized Medicine Approach for Beta-thalassemia Transfusion Dependent Patients: Testing SIROLIMUS in a First Pilot Clinical Trial
Actual Study Start Date : June 27, 2019
Actual Primary Completion Date : April 30, 2022
Actual Study Completion Date : April 30, 2022

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Open label trial
Sirolimus 0.5 mg tablets
Drug: Sirolimus 0.5 mg
Daily administration of 1 or more tablets

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change from baseline of fetal hemoglobin level [ Time Frame: 360 days ]
    Fetal hemoglobin level in peripheral blood at day 360 compared to day 0, assessed through high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change from baseline of fetal hemoglobin level [ Time Frame: 180 days ]
    Fetal hemoglobin level in peripheral blood at days 90 and 180 compared to day 0, assessed through HPLC

  2. Change from baseline of γ-globin expression [ Time Frame: 360 days ]
    Level of induction of the γ-globin expression at day 90, 180 and 360 compared to day 0

  3. Change from baseline of biomarkers for erythropoiesis [ Time Frame: 360 days ]
    - - Evaluation of the biomarkers for erythropoiesis level at day 180 and 360 compared to baseline. Biomarkers will include: Reticulocytes count, Nucleated red blood cells count

  4. Change from baseline of biomarkers for erythropoiesis [ Time Frame: 360 days ]
    - - Evaluation of the biomarkers for erythropoiesis level at day 180 and 360 compared to baseline. Biomarkers will include: erythropoietin level, serum transferrin receptor level.

  5. Change from baseline of biomarkers for haemolysis [ Time Frame: 360 days ]
    - Evaluation of the biomarkers for haemolysis level at day 180 and 360 compared to baseline. Biomarkers will include: serum bilirubin level

  6. Change from baseline of biomarkers for haemolysis [ Time Frame: 360 days ]
    - Evaluation of the biomarkers for haemolysis level at day 180 and 360 compared to baseline. Biomarkers will include: serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level

  7. Change from baseline of tranfusion needs [ Time Frame: 360 days ]
    - Measurement of the total blood quantity (in mL) transfused and recording of the number of transfusions done in a semester (day -360 to -180, day -180 to 0, day 0 to 180, day 180 to 360)

  8. Change from baseline of Iron status [ Time Frame: 360 days ]
    • Evaluation of the intake of iron chelators at days 180 and 360 compared to baseline
    • Evaluation of serum ferritin level at day 90, 180 and 360 in comparison with day 0

  9. Change from baseline of Immune function [ Time Frame: 360 days ]
    • Peripheral blood immunophenotype-Lymphocyte subsets at day 90 and 360 compared to day 0
    • Quantitative analysis of ImmunoglobulinG/ImmunoglobulinA/ImunoglobulinM at day 90 and 360 compared to day 0

  10. Change from baseline of Quality of Life [ Time Frame: 360 days ]
    Evaluation of the patient quality of life at 6 and 12 months compared to baseline through Transfusion-dependent Quality of Life questionnaire (TranQol), measuring specifically the quality of life in patients with thalassemia. The TranQol is a disease-specific Quality of Life measure that has been shown to be valid and reliable (Klaassen et al, British Journal of Haematology, 2014, 164, 431-437). On a total scale of 0-100, higher values always represent a better outcome. The questions are grouped into four domains: physical health, emotional health, family functioning, and school and career functioning. The adult self-report questionnaires include a fifth category on sexual activity which is only one item. Subscales are summed.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
  • Patients over 18 years of age;
  • Patient able to understand the informed consent and to sign it before any study procedure;
  • With β+/β+ and β+/β0 thalassemia genotype;
  • Documented diagnosis of major or intermediate thalassemia transfusion-dependent (nr of transfusion not less than 8 over the past 12 months before selection);
  • On regular transfusion since at least 6 years;
  • With splenectomy performed at least 60 days before selection or spleen dimensions < 20 cm in the largest part as detected by abdominal echography;
  • Female participants who are surgically sterilised / hysterectomised or post-menopausal for longer than 2 years or female participants of childbearing potential using and/or willing to continue using a medically reliable method of contraception for the entire study duration, such as oral, injectable, or implantable contraceptives, or intrauterine contraceptive devices, or using any other method considered sufficiently reliable by the investigator in individual cases. Patients must be counseled concerning measures to be used to prevent pregnancy and potential toxicities prior to the first dose of sirolimus;
  • Patient willing to follow all the study requirements and perform all the study visits and to cooperate with the investigator;
  • Patient followed by the same clinical site since at least 6 months.

Note that patients will be treated with oral sirolimus only in the case their Erythroid Precursor Cells (ErPCs) are responsive to the in vitro treatment with sirolimus according to laboratory specific definition (≥ 20% increase of HbF in comparison with samples not treated with sirolimus);

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patient treated with hydroxyurea at selection visit or in the last 6 months;
  • Ongoing treatment with drugs possibly affecting sirolimus actions;
  • Documented aspartate aminotransferase (AST) or alanine aminotransferase (ALT) > 3x Upper Limit of Normal (ULN) at selection;
  • Documented Platelet count <150.000/microliter and >1.000.000/microliter at selection;
  • Heart failure as classified by the New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification 3 or higher;
  • Uncontrolled hypertension defined as systolic blood pressure (BP) ≥ 140 mm Hg or diastolic BP ≥ 90 mm Hg;
  • Significant arrhythmia requiring treatment,
  • Corrected QT interval> 450 msec on selection ECG;
  • Ejection fraction <50% by echocardiogram, multiple gated acquisition scan or cardiac magnetic resonance;
  • Myocardial infarction within 6 months prior of selection;
  • Positivity for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody, active hepatitis B (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV) as demonstrated by the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and a positive HCV-RNA test, HBcAb and HBV-DNA positivity
  • White blood cell [WBC] count <3000 cells per μL and/or Granulocytes <1500/mm3;
  • Total cholesterol > 240 mg/dl;
  • Triglycerides > 200 mg/dl;
  • Proteinuria with urinary protein >1g/24 hrs;
  • Current participation in another trial with investigational drug or experimental device, or inclusion in another trial with investigational drug or experimental device within the preceding month;
  • Major surgery (including splenectomy) within 60 days before selection (patients must have fully recovered from any previous surgery);
  • Iron chelation therapy changed in the last 3 months prior to selection (note that Deferiprone is not accepted as a chelation therapy drug in this study while Desferioxamine and Deferasirox are tolerated at stable dose);
  • Current treatment with macrolide antibiotics (clarithromycin);
  • Pregnant or lactating women;
  • History of severe allergic or anaphylactic reactions or hypersensitivity to excipients in the experimental drug;
  • Treatment with live vaccines within 90 days preceding the selection;
  • Subject with history or current malignancies (solid tumors and haematological malignancies) or presence of masses/tumor detected by ultrasound at selection;
  • Subject with any significant medical condition and/or laboratory abnormality considered by the investigator as not adequately controlled at the time of selection.

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 identifier (NCT number): NCT03877809

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Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Section of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Ferrara, Italy, 44121
Department of Growth and Reproduction Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria S.Anna
Ferrara, Italy, 44124
Sponsors and Collaborators
Rare Partners srl Impresa Sociale
Università degli Studi di Ferrara
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Responsible Party: Rare Partners srl Impresa Sociale Identifier: NCT03877809    
Other Study ID Numbers: CT2-02-17
2018-001942-33 ( EudraCT Number )
208872/Z/17/Z ( Other Grant/Funding Number: Wellcome Trust (Innovator Award) )
First Posted: March 18, 2019    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 3, 2022
Last Verified: May 2022
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Yes
Plan Description: At the end of the study the study protocol and the clinical trial report will be available to other researchers. Publication of the data is planned
Supporting Materials: Study Protocol
Clinical Study Report (CSR)
Time Frame: After completion of the Clinical Study Report preparation
Access Criteria: Free availability of the publication. Free availability of the study protocol upon request

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S.: No
Keywords provided by Rare Partners srl Impresa Sociale:
Fetal hemoglobin
Red Blood Cells
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Anemia, Hemolytic, Congenital
Anemia, Hemolytic
Hematologic Diseases
Genetic Diseases, Inborn
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Anti-Infective Agents
Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
Antineoplastic Agents
Antifungal Agents
Immunosuppressive Agents
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs