Background: Immunosuppression via Janus kinase (JAK) 3 inhibition affords significant prolongation of allograft survival. We investigated the effects of an immunosuppressive regimen combining the JAK3 inhibitor CP-690,550 with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) in nonhuman primates (NHPs).
Methods: Life-supporting kidney transplantations were performed between ABO-compatible, MLR-mismatched NHPs. Animals were treated orally twice a day with CP-690,550 and MMF (n=8) or MMF alone (n=2) and were euthanized at day 90 or earlier due to allograft rejection.
Results: Mean survival time (+/-SEM) in animals treated with MMF alone (23+/-1 days) was significantly extended in animals that concurrently received CP-690,550 (59.5+/-9.8 days, P=0.02). Combination animals exposed to higher levels of CP-690,550 had a significantly better survival (75.2+/-8.7 days) than animals that received less CP-690,550 (33.3+/-12.6 days, P=0.02). Three combination therapy animals were euthanized at day 90 with a subnormal renal function and early-stage acute graft rejection. Rejection, delayed by treatment, ultimately developed in other animals. Anemia and gastrointestinal intolerance was seen in combination therapy animals that otherwise did not show evidence of viral or bacterial infection besides signs consistent with subclinical pyelonephritis (n=3). One incidental lymphosarcoma was noted.
Conclusions: Addition of CP-690,550 to MMF significantly improved allograft survival. The observed side effects appear amenable to improvements upon alteration of dosing strategies. Efficacy of this combination regimen suggests that it could become the backbone of calcineurin inhibitor-free regimens.