IL-6 inhibition with clazakizumab in patients receiving maintenance dialysis: a randomized phase 2b trial

Glenn M. Chertow, Anna Marie Chang, G. Michael Felker, Mark Heise, Elena Velkoska, Bengt Fellström, David M. Charytan, Regina Clementi, C. Michael Gibson, Shaun G. Goodman, Meg Jardine, Adeera Levin, Yuliya Lokhnygina, Jenny Mears, Roxana Mehran, Peter Stenvinkel, Angela Wang, David C. Wheeler, Carmine Zoccali, Paul M. RidkerKenneth W. Mahaffey, Pierluigi Tricoci, Myles Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inflammation mediated by interleukin-6 (IL-6) is strongly associated with cardiovascular risk. Here we evaluated clazakizumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting the IL-6 ligand, in a phase 2b dose-finding study. Adults with cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes receiving maintenance dialysis with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) ≥ 2 mg l−1 at baseline were randomized to receive clazakizumab (2.5 mg, 5 mg or 10 mg, n = 32 per dose group) or placebo (n = 31) every 4 weeks. The primary endpoint was the change from baseline in hs-CRP to week 12, expressed as the geometric mean ratio. Clazakizumab treatment signficantly reduced serum hs-CRP concentrations at week 12 by 86%, 90% and 92% relative to placebo in patients randomized to 2.5 mg, 5 mg or 10 mg clazakizumab, respectively (all P < 0.0001), meeting the primary outcome. With regard to secondary endpoints, clazakizumab treatment reduced serum fibrinogen, amyloid A, secretory phospholipase A2, and lipoprotein(a) concentrations, as well as increased mean serum albumin concentrations at 12 weeks, relative to placebo. The proportion of patients who achieved hs-CRP < 2.0 mg l−1 was 79%, 82% and 79% in the 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg clazakizumab groups, respectively, compared with 0% of placebo-treated patients. With regard to safety, no cases of sustained grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia or neutropenia were observed. Serious infections were seen with similar frequency in the placebo, clazakizumab 2.5 mg and clazakizumab 5 mg groups, but were numerically more frequent in the clazakizumab 10 mg group. The results of this trial indicate that in patients receiving maintenance dialysis, clazakizumab reduced inflammatory biomarkers associated with cardiovascular events. registration: NCT05485961.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


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