Last updated on March 2020

Efficacy and Safety of Low-dose IL-2 in Patients With SLE: a Multicenter Randomised Placebo-controlled Trial


Brief description of study

The management of active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is challenging due to the heterogeneous nature of the disease and lack of specific treatment. Current treatment regimens mainly rely on corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents which are associated with substantial adverse effects including various infections. Therefore, there is an unmet need for new therapies with better efficacy and less adverse effects.

Defective IL-2 production contributes to the unbalanced immune system in SLE. Previous short term open-labelled trials showed that low-dose IL-2 was efficient and tolerated in active SLE. It was suggested that low-dose IL-2 treatment promoted regulatory T cells (Treg) and inhibited T helper 17 cells (Th17) and follicular helper T cells (Tfh). The immunological rebalancing was associated with the induction of remission in SLE patients.

To establish that which low doses of IL-2 would be more efficacious and safe in active SLE, we carried out a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of three doses of IL2 (0.2 MIU, 0.5 MIU or 1 MIU) versus placebo.

Detailed Study Description

Five hundred patients with active SLE at 18 to 75 years of age were enrolled. Patients were randomly assigned (in a 1:1:1:1 ratio) to one of the four arms (placebo or IL-2 at 0.2 MIU, 0.5 MIU or 1 MIU) in the study. IL-2 (0.2 MIU, 0.5 MIU or 1 MIU) or placebo was administered subcutaneously every other day for the first 12 weeks , and then was adjusted to once a week for the second 12 weeks. Follow-up visits occurred on weeks 4, 8,12,16,20 and 24. The end points were safety and clinical and immunologic response.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT04077684

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