Drugs. 1999 Feb;57(2):207-13; discussion 214. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199957020-00006.


The chimaeric monoclonal antibody basiliximab specifically binds the alpha subunit of the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor on activated T lymphocytes. Through competitive antagonism of IL-2, basiliximab supplements standard immunosuppressive therapy after renal transplantation. < or =24 Hours after a single intravenous dose of basiliximab 2.5 to 25 mg, approximately 90% of available IL-2 receptors on T lymphocytes were complexed with the drug. This level of basiliximab binding was maintained for 4 to 6 weeks when renal transplant patients received basiliximab 20 mg 2 hours before and then 4 days after transplantation surgery. In 2 large, well-designed trials, the percentage of patients with biopsy-confirmed acute rejection episodes after renal transplantation was significantly lower with basiliximab 20 mg (administered 2 hours before and then 4 days after transplantation surgery; 30 or 33%, respectively) than placebo (44 or 46%) at 6 months after surgery. Basiliximab was well tolerated during clinical trials. The incidence of infections (including active cytomegalovirus infection) and post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders was similar with basiliximab and placebo. Cytokine release syndrome was not observed in patients who received basiliximab.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacokinetics
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Basiliximab
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Mice
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Interleukin-2
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Basiliximab