June 18, 2024

A New Breakthrough in Transplantation Medicine: Felzartamab Effectively Combat Antibody-Mediated Rejection in Kidney Transplants

Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) is a significant cause of kidney transplant failure, with no long-term effective treatment available to date. In a groundbreaking international and multidisciplinary clinical study led by Georg Böhmig and Katharina Mayer from MedUni Vienna and University Hospital Vienna, a novel therapeutic approach in transplant medicine has been discovered to be both safe and highly effective against AMR. The findings were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study included 22 patients diagnosed with AMR following a Organ  Transplant at the University Hospital Vienna and Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin between 2021 and 2023. In a randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study design, patients were administered either felzartamab, a specific (monoclonal CD38) antibody, or a placebo with no pharmacological effect.

Felzartamab, initially developed as an immunotherapy to treat multiple myeloma by eliminating tumor cells in the bone marrow, has gained attention in transplantation medicine due to its unique ability to influence immune reactions. Study leader Böhmig explains, “Our goal was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the antibody as a potential treatment option for AMR after kidney transplantation.”

First author Mayer adds, “After a six-month treatment period and an equivalent observation period, we were encouraged to find that morphological and molecular analyses of transplant biopsies suggest that felzartamab has the potential to effectively and safely combat AMR in kidney transplants.”

This new therapeutic principle offers hope for patients undergoing kidney transplantation and experiencing AMR, potentially reducing the risk of transplant failure. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and establish felzartamab as a standard treatment for AMR in kidney transplantation.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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