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Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections, morbidity, and seroreactivity following initial COVID-19 vaccination series and additional dose in patients with SLE in New York City

Saxena, Amit; Engel, Alexis J; Banbury, Brittany; Hasan, Ghadeer; Fraser, Nicola; Zaminski, Devyn; Masson, Mala; Haberman, Rebecca H; Scher, Jose U; Ho, Gary; Law, Jammie; Rackoff, Paula; Tseng, Chung-E; Belmont, H Michael; Clancy, Robert M; Buyon, Jill P; Izmirly, Peter M
PMID: 35856060
ISSN: 2665-9913
CID: 5279052

Update on the Efficacy and Safety Profile of Voclosporin: An Integrated Analysis of Clinical Trials in Lupus Nephritis

Arriens, Cristina; Teng, Y K Onno; Ginzler, Ellen M; Parikh, Samir V; Askanase, Anca D; Saxena, Amit; Gibson, Keisha; Caster, Dawn J; Atsumi, Tatsuya; Lisk, Laura; Randhawa, Simrat; Gluck, Rashieda; Solomons, Neil; Huizinga, Robert B
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:This integrated analysis evaluates the efficacy and safety of voclosporin, a novel calcineurin inhibitor, at 23.7 mg twice daily in combination with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and oral glucocorticoids in lupus nephritis (LN) using pooled data from two large phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials. The purpose was to expand the pool of patients for safety analyses and to increase power for efficacy analyses in patient subpopulations. METHODS:AURA-LV (phase 2) and AURORA 1 (phase 3) were randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials with similar designs and endpoints comparing voclosporin to control in combination with MMF and oral glucocorticoids for the treatment of LN. The primary efficacy outcome of the integrated analysis was complete renal response (CRR) at approximately 1 year (Week 48 data from AURA-LV and Week 52 from AURORA 1). Safety was assessed throughout the trials. RESULTS:Overall, 534 patients (voclosporin 268, control 266) were included in the integrated analysis. Significantly more patients achieved a CRR at 1 year in the voclosporin than control group (43.7% vs. 23.3%, OR 2.76; 95% CI 1.88, 4.05 p<0.0001). The incidence of adverse events (AEs) was similar; 91.4% voclosporin and 87.2% control. Most AEs were mild to moderate in severity; the most commonly reported AEs were classified as infections and infestations (62.2% voclosporin, 54.9% control) and gastrointestinal disorders (45.3% voclosporin, 35.3% placebo). No new or unexpected safety signals were detected. CONCLUSIONS:This integrated analysis demonstrates the efficacy and safety of voclosporin in the treatment of LN across the diverse racial and ethnic groups studied. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 36039949
ISSN: 2151-4658
CID: 5337622

Fatty Acid Composition of Proximal Femur Bone Marrow Adipose Tissue in Subjects With Systemic Lupus Erythematous Using 3 T Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Martel, Dimitri; Saxena, Amit; Belmont, Howard Michael; Honig, Stephen; Chang, Gregory
BACKGROUND:Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, inflammatory disease with common musculoskeletal manifestations, notably reductions in bone quality. Bone marrow adipose tissue composition and quantity has been previously linked to bone quality and may play a role in SLE pathophysiology but has not been thoroughly studied. PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:To use magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to investigate bone marrow adipose tissue quantity and composition in proximal femur subregions of untreated SLE patients compared to controls and treated patients. STUDY TYPE/METHODS:Prospective. SUBJECTS/METHODS:A total of 64 female subjects: 28 SLE, 15 glucocorticoid (GC)-treated SLE and 21 matched controls. FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE/UNASSIGNED:Stimulated echo acquisition mode (STEAM) sequence at 3 T. ASSESSMENT/RESULTS:MRS was performed at multiple echo times in the femoral neck and trochanter regions and fatty acids (FA) composition was computed. STATISTICAL TESTS/UNASSIGNED:Intergroup comparisons were carried out using ANOVA. A P value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. RESULTS:SLE patients had significantly higher saturated FA compared to controls in both the femoral neck (+0.12) and trochanter (+0.11), significantly lower monounsaturated FA in the trochanter compared to controls (-0.05), and significantly lower polyunsaturated FA in the femoral neck compared to both controls (-0.07) and SLE patients on GC therapy (-0.05). DATA CONCLUSION/UNASSIGNED:SLE patients have altered proximal femur marrow fat metabolism, which may reflect a manifestation of, or play a role in, the altered inflammatory response of these patients. EVIDENCE LEVEL/UNASSIGNED:2 TECHNICAL EFFICACY: Stage 2.
PMID: 34964533
ISSN: 1522-2586
CID: 5108212

To Be or Not to Be Treated: That Is the Question in Managing a Fetus With Cardiac Injury Exposed to Anti-SSA/Ro [Letter]

Buyon, Jill; Saxena, Amit; Friedman, Deborah; Izmirly, Peter
PMID: 35730612
ISSN: 2047-9980
CID: 5275942

Methotrexate and TNF inhibitors affect long-term immunogenicity to COVID-19 vaccination in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory disease

Haberman, Rebecca H; Um, Seungha; Axelrad, Jordan E; Blank, Rebecca B; Uddin, Zakwan; Catron, Sydney; Neimann, Andrea L; Mulligan, Mark J; Herat, Ramin Sedaghat; Hong, Simon J; Chang, Shannon; Myrtaj, Arnold; Ghiasian, Ghoncheh; Izmirly, Peter M; Saxena, Amit; Solomon, Gary; Azar, Natalie; Samuels, Jonathan; Golden, Brian D; Rackoff, Paula; Adhikari, Samrachana; Hudesman, David P; Scher, Jose U
PMID: 35403000
ISSN: 2665-9913
CID: 5218902

Minor Salivary Gland Biopsy in Diagnosis of Sjögren's Syndrome

Gordon, Alex J; Patel, Aneek; Zhou, Fang; Liu, Cheng; Saxena, Amit; Rackoff, Paula; Givi, Babak
Objective/UNASSIGNED:Previous studies have questioned the safety and efficacy of minor salivary gland biopsy in the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome, citing complications and difficulty of pathologic evaluation. This study aims to determine the rate of biopsy specimen adequacy and the risk of complications after minor salivary gland biopsy. Study Design/UNASSIGNED:Case series. Setting/UNASSIGNED:Single tertiary care center. Methods/UNASSIGNED:sample were considered positive. Results/UNASSIGNED:We identified 110 patients who underwent minor salivary gland biopsy. Ninety-three (85%) were female, and the median age was 49.1 years (range, 18.7-80.5). Seventy-seven procedures (70%) were performed in the office setting, and 33 (30%) were performed in the operating room. Nearly all biopsy samples (n = 108, 98%) were adequate, and 33 (31%) were interpreted as positive. Four patients (4%) experienced temporary lip numbness, which resolved with conservative management. No permanent complications were reported after lip biopsy. Nineteen (58%) patients with positive biopsy results had no Sjögren's-specific antibodies. Most patients with positive biopsy results (n = 20, 61%) subsequently started immunomodulatory therapy. Conclusion/UNASSIGNED:Minor salivary gland biopsy can be performed safely and effectively in both the office and the operating room. This procedure provides clinically meaningful information and can be reasonably recommended in patients suspected to have Sjögren's syndrome.
PMID: 35909442
ISSN: 2473-974x
CID: 5287772

Evaluation of Immune Response and Disease Status in SLE Patients Following SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination

Izmirly, Peter M; Kim, Mimi Y; Samanovic, Marie; Fernandez-Ruiz, Ruth; Ohana, Sharon; Deonaraine, Kristina K; Engel, Alexis J; Masson, Mala; Xie, Xianhong; Cornelius, Amber R; Herati, Ramin S; Haberman, Rebecca H; Scher, Jose U; Guttmann, Allison; Blank, Rebecca B; Plotz, Benjamin; Haj-Ali, Mayce; Banbury, Brittany; Stream, Sara; Hasan, Ghadeer; Ho, Gary; Rackoff, Paula; Blazer, Ashira D; Tseng, Chung-E; Belmont, H Michael; Saxena, Amit; Mulligan, Mark J; Clancy, Robert M; Buyon, Jill P
OBJECTIVE:To evaluate seroreactivity and disease flares after COVID-19 vaccination in a multi-ethnic/racial cohort of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). METHODS:90 SLE patients and 20 healthy controls receiving a complete COVID-19 vaccine regimen were included. IgG seroreactivity to the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) and SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization were used to evaluate B cell responses; IFN-γ production to assess T cell responses was measured by ELISpot. Disease activity was measured by the hybrid SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI) and flares were assigned by the SELENA/SLEDAI flare index. RESULTS:Overall, fully vaccinated SLE patients produced significantly lower IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD than controls. Twenty-six SLE patients (28.8%) generated an IgG response below that of the lowest control (<100 units/ml). In logistic regression analyses, the use of any immunosuppressant or prednisone and a normal anti-dsDNA level prior to vaccination associated with decreased vaccine responses. IgG seroreactivity to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike RBD strongly correlated with the SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization titers and antigen-specific IFN-γ production determined by ELISpot. In a subset of patients with poor antibody responses, IFN-γ production was likewise diminished. Pre-/post-vaccination SLEDAI scores were similar. Only 11.4% of patients had a post-vaccination flare; 1.3% were severe. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:In a multi-ethnic/racial study of SLE patients 29% had a low response to the COVID-19 vaccine which was associated with being on immunosuppression. Reassuringly, disease flares were rare. While minimal protective levels remain unknown, these data suggest protocol development is needed to assess efficacy of booster vaccination.
PMID: 34347939
ISSN: 2326-5205
CID: 5046532

EMBRACE: Phase 3/4, Randomized, 52-Week Study of Belimumab Efficacy and Safety in Patients of Black African Ancestry With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Ginzler, Ellen; Guedes Barbosa, Luiz Sergio; D'Cruz, David; Furie, Richard; Maksimowicz-McKinnon, Kathleen; Oates, James; Santiago, Mittermayer Barreto; Saxena, Amit; Sheikh, Saira; Bass, Damon L; Burriss, Susan W; Gilbride, Jennifer A; Groark, James G; Miller, Michelle; Pierce, Amy; Roth, David A; Ji, Beulah
OBJECTIVE:Enrollment of patients of Black African ancestry with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in Phase 2 and 3 belimumab trials was not reflective of the racial distribution observed in the lupus population. This study assessed efficacy and safety of intravenous (IV) belimumab plus standard therapy in patients of self-identified black race. METHODS:EMBRACE (GSK Study BEL115471; NCT01632241): 52-week multicenter, double-blind (DB), placebo-controlled trial in adults of self-identified black race with active SLE, receiving monthly belimumab 10 mg/kg IV, or placebo, plus standard therapy. The optional 26-week open-label extension phase included patients who completed the DB phase. The primary endpoint was SLE Responder Index response rate at Week 52 with modified proteinuria scoring adapted from the SLEDAI-2K (SRI-S2K). Key secondary endpoints included: Week 52 SRI response rate, time to first severe flare, and reductions in prednisone dose. RESULTS:The modified intention-to-treat population comprised 448 patients (96.9% female; mean [standard deviation] age: 38.8 [11.42] years). The primary endpoint (SRI-S2K response rate at Week 52) was not achieved (belimumab 48.7%, placebo 41.6%; p=0.1068); however, numerical improvements favoring belimumab were observed, especially in patients with high baseline disease activity or renal manifestations. The safety profile of belimumab was generally consistent with previous SLE trials. Adverse events were the primary reason for DB phase withdrawals (belimumab 5.4%; placebo 6.7%). CONCLUSIONS:The primary endpoint of this study was not achieved, but improvement with belimumab versus placebo was observed, suggesting that belimumab remains a suitable treatment option for SLE management in patients of Black African ancestry.
PMID: 34164944
ISSN: 2326-5205
CID: 4934132

First-in-Human Study of Bamlanivimab in a Randomized Trial of Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19

Chen, Peter; Datta, Gourab; Grace Li, Ying; Chien, Jenny; Price, Karen; Chigutsa, Emmanuel; Brown-Augsburger, Patricia; Poorbaugh, Josh; Fill, Jeffrey; Benschop, Robert J; Rouphael, Nadine; Kay, Ariel; Mulligan, Mark J; Saxena, Amit; Fischer, William A; Dougan, Michael; Klekotka, Paul; Nirula, Ajay; Benson, Charles
Therapeutics for patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are urgently needed during the pandemic. Bamlanivimab is a potent neutralizing monoclonal antibody that blocks severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) attachment and entry into human cells, which could potentially lead to therapeutic benefit. J2W-MC-PYAA was a randomized, double-blind, sponsor unblinded, placebo-controlled, single ascending dose first-in-human trial (NCT04411628) in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. A total of 24 patients received either placebo or a single dose of bamlanivimab (700 mg, 2,800 mg, or 7,000 mg). The primary objective was assessment of safety and tolerability, including adverse events and serious adverse events, with secondary objectives of pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic analyses. Treatment-emergent adverse event (TEAE) rates were identical in the placebo and pooled bamlanivimab groups (66.7%). There were no apparent dose-related increases in the number or severity of TEAEs. There were no serious adverse events or deaths during the study, and no discontinuations due to adverse events. PKs of bamlanivimab is linear and exposure increased proportionally with dose following single i.v. administration. The half-life was ~ 17 days. These results demonstrate the favorable safety profile of bamlanivimab, and provided the initial critical evaluation of safety, tolerability, and PKs in support of the development of bamlanivimab in several ongoing clinical trials.
PMID: 34455583
ISSN: 1532-6535
CID: 5061122

Voclosporin for lupus nephritis: Interim analysis of the aurora 2 extension study [Meeting Abstract]

Saxena, A; Mela, C; Coeshall, A
Background/Purpose: Voclosporin, a novel calcineurin inhibitor (CNI), has been tested successfully in 2 pivotal trials in adult patients with lupus nephritis (LN). Previously reported results from the Phase 3 AURORA 1 and Phase 2 AURA-LV studies showed that compared with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and low-dose steroids alone, the addition of voclosporin significantly increased the renal response rate and reduced proteinuria, as measured by urine protein creatinine ratio (UPCR), in patients with LN at 48 weeks in AURA-LV and 52 weeks in AURORA 1.
Method(s): Here we report on the second interim analysis of the ongoing 2-year, blinded, controlled extension study, AURORA 2, with exposure up to 30 months (12 months from AURORA 1 and up to an additional 18 months in AURORA 2). All patients enrolled in AURORA 1 had a diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus according to the ACR criteria and biopsy-proven LN; patients completing AURORA 1 were eligible to continue in AURORA 2 with the same randomized treatment of voclosporin (23.7 mg BID) or placebo, in combination with MMF (1 g BID) and low-dose oral steroids. UPCR and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were evaluated. In total, 116 patients in the voclosporin arm and 100 patients in the control arm enrolled in the extension study; 90 and 78 patients, respectively, had received 30 months of total treatment as of this interim analysis.
Result(s): Mean UPCR at pre-treatment (AURORA 1) baseline was 3.94 mg/mg in the voclosporin arm (n=116) and 3.87 mg/mg in the control arm (n=100). The LS mean change in UPCR from pre-treatment baseline to month 30 was -3.32 mg/mg for the voclosporin arm (n=90) and -2.55 mg/mg for the control arm (n=78; Figure 1). There was a small, expected and early decrease in mean eGFR in the voclosporin arm in the first 4 weeks of treatment in AURORA 1, after which eGFR remained stable through month 30 (Figure 2). There were no unexpected new adverse events reported in patients who continued voclosporin treatment compared to control-treated patients. A total of 6 and 10 patients in the voclosporin and control arms reported events of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, with 2 and 6 patients, respectively, reporting serious coronavirus infections.
Conclusion(s): Patients in the voclosporin treatment arm maintained meaningful reductions in proteinuria with no change in mean eGFR at 30 months of treatment. Additional AURORA 2 efficacy and safety data will be provided at the conclusion of the study
ISSN: 2326-5205
CID: 5164712