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First-of-its-kind data shows Novartis' iscalimab extends survival of transplanted kidneys

Published on 06/06/19 at 11:21am

In a first-of-its-kind reveal, Novartis has presented histology data for iscalimab (CFZ533) at the American Transplant Congress (ATC) which indicates that the drug may be able to extend the survival of transplanted kidneys and improve the long-term outcomes of kidney transplant patients.

The findings showed that calcineurin-free treatment with iscalimab resulted in lower chronic allograft damage index (CADI) scores compared to current standard of care tacrolimus, with three of five trial participants displaying normal renal histology, compared to none of the seven tacrolimus patients.

Novartis has indicated that the success of the drug in this small sample size has led them to commit to taking the research forward to Phase 2b trials. Iscalimab is a fully human, monoclonal antibody which prevents the signalling from cluster of differentiation 40 (CD40) pathway and activation of CD40+ cell types.

“Extending the life of transplanted kidneys would mean fewer patients going back on dialysis or needing a second transplant – relieving pressure on waiting lists that in the US are already three-to-five years long,” remarked Eric Hughes, Global Development Unit Head, Immunology, Hepatology and Dermatology. “In our journey to reimagine care for patients, I’m excited about the potential of durable transplants becoming a reality.”

Matt Fellows

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