Purpose: To assess the feasibility of a study design that may determine whether subcutaneous administration of the interleukin-2 receptor antibody daclizumab can safely reduce the dependence on standard systemic corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive regimens in patients with sight-threatening, noninfectious intermediate uveitis, posterior uveitis, or panuveitis.
Design: Prospective, multicenter, nonrandomized, noncomparative, open-label interventional trial.
Participants: Fifteen patients, 5 each at 3 clinical centers, with noninfectious intermediate, posterior, or panuveitis, who require a currently stable immunosuppression regimen of systemic corticosteroids and/or other systemic treatments to control noninfectious intraocular inflammation.
Methods: After enrollment and baseline ophthalmic evaluations, 2 induction treatments were given 2 weeks apart using subcutaneous (SC) daclizumab at 2 mg/kg. Subcutaneous daclizumab maintenance treatments were then continued every 2 weeks at 1 mg/kg for 6 months. The initial immunosuppression load was tapered over 8 to 12 weeks in a staggered fashion beginning with the first induction treatment. Safety evaluations were performed at each treatment visit, with a primary efficacy evaluation at 12 weeks and a repeat efficacy evaluation at 26 weeks.
Main outcome measures: Best-corrected visual acuity (Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study [ETDRS] method) with a concurrent taper of concomitant systemic immunosuppression medication load (tabulated by use of a weighted scoring system) was assessed; target for success was defined as a 50% or greater reduction in concomitant immunosuppression load by 12 weeks while maintaining visual acuity within 5 ETDRS letters of baseline. Ocular inflammation was assessed at each visit with standardized grading scales.
Results: Ten of 15 patients (67%) receiving SC daclizumab treatments every other week successfully achieved the primary efficacy end point of reducing their concomitant immunosuppression load by at least 50% while maintaining their baseline visual acuity at 12 and 26 weeks. Subcutaneous daclizumab injections were well tolerated with no serious adverse events observed during the 6 months of treatments, although 3 patients experienced possibly related, nonserious adverse events.
Conclusions: Subcutaneous daclizumab induction treatments at 2 mg/kg followed by 1 mg/kg maintenance treatments every other week seems safe and, in most cases, may reduce the concomitant immunosuppressive load required to treat noninfectious uveitis for 12 to 26 weeks.