Kidney Int. 2023 Oct 30:S0085-2538(23)00754-8. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2023.09.027. Online ahead of print.
Targeting the alternative complement pathway is an attractive therapeutic strategy given its role in the pathogenesis of immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN). Iptacopan (LNP023) is an oral, proximal alternative complement inhibitor that specifically binds to Factor B. Our randomized, double-blind, parallel-group adaptive Phase 2 study (NCT03373461) enrolled patients with biopsy-confirmed IgAN (within previous three years) with estimated glomerular filtration rates of 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 and over and urine protein 0.75 g/24 hours and over on stable doses of renin angiotensin system inhibitors. Patients were randomized to four iptacopan doses (10, 50, 100, or 200 mg bid) or placebo for either a three-month (Part 1; 46 patients) or a six-month (Part 2; 66 patients) treatment period. The primary analysis evaluated the dose-response relationship of iptacopan versus placebo on 24-hour urine protein-to-creatinine ratio (UPCR) at three months. Other efficacy, safety and biomarker parameters were assessed. Baseline characteristics were generally well-balanced across treatment arms. There was a statistically significant dose-response effect, with 23% reduction in UPCR achieved with iptacopan 200 mg bid (80% confidence interval 8 -34%) at three months. UPCR decreased further through six months in iptacopan 100 and 200 mg arms (from a mean of 1.3 g/g at baseline to 0.8 g/g at six months in the 200 mg arm). A sustained reduction in complement biomarkers levels including plasma Bb, serum Wieslab, and urinary C5b-9 was observed. Iptacopan was well-tolerated, with no reports of deaths, treatment-related serious adverse events or bacterial infections, and led to strong inhibition of alternative complement pathway activity and persistent proteinuria reduction in patients with IgAN. Thus, our findings support further evaluation of iptacopan in the ongoing Phase 3 trial (APPLAUSE-IgAN; NCT04578834).