Background. The effects of three doses of RAD (40-O-[2-hydroxyethyl]-rapamycin), a novel macrolide with potent immunosuppressive and antiproliferative properties, on the incidence and severity of acute rejection episodes as well as its tolerability were evaluated in a dose-ranging study in de novo renal transplant recipients. Methods. In this double-blind, parallel group, multicenter study, recipients were randomized to receive 1 mg, 2 mg, or 4 mg/day of RAD in combination with Neoral® (cyclosporine, USP MODIFIED) and corticosteroids. The incidence and severity of biopsy-proven acute rejection episodes, graft survival, patient survival, infection rates, laboratory measurements, and adverse events were compared across groups after 6 months of therapy. Results. Among the 103 recipients, patients receiving 1, 2, or 4 mg/day experienced a 32.4%, 14.7%, or 25.7% incidence of biopsy-proven acute rejection episodes within the first 6 months posttransplantation, respectively. Even though the study was not powered to demonstrate efficacy, the incidence of moderate and severe acute rejection episodes was found to be significantly lower among patients in the 2 mg and 4 mg/day groups than in the 1 mg/day group (P=0.002 and P=0.006, respectively). Overall graft and patient survival rates were excellent. RAD was generally well tolerated. Although blood lipid levels increased in all groups, changes were manageable with lipid-lowering agents and did not warrant discontinuation of study medication. The incidence of viral and fungal infections was low; however, it was higher among recipients treated with 4 mg/day. Conclusions. In combination with Neoral® and corticosteroids, RAD doses of 2 mg and 4 mg/day resulted in lower rates of acute rejection episodes and efficacy failure than the 1 mg/day dose and were significantly more effective in reducing the severity of rejection. Large-scale, controlled, follow-up studies are currently in progress to confirm these initial findings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas