Belatacept, a costimulation blocker, may preserve renal function and improve long-term outcomes versus calcineurin inhibitors in kidney transplantation. This Phase III study (Belatacept Evaluation of Nephroprotection and Efficacy as First-line Immunosuppression Trial) assessed a more intensive (MI) or less intensive (LI) regimen of belatacept versus cyclosporine in adults receiving a kidney transplant from living or standard criteria deceased donors. The co-primary endpoints at 12 months were patient/graft survival, a composite renal impairment endpoint (percent with a measured glomerular filtration rate (mGFR) <60 mL/min/1.73 m(2) at Month 12 or a decrease in mGFR > or =10 mL/min/1.73 m(2) Month 3-Month 12) and the incidence of acute rejection. At Month 12, both belatacept regimens had similar patient/graft survival versus cyclosporine (MI: 95%, LI: 97% and cyclosporine: 93%), and were associated with superior renal function as measured by the composite renal impairment endpoint (MI: 55%; LI: 54% and cyclosporine: 78%; p < or = 0.001 MI or LI versus cyclosporine) and by the mGFR (65, 63 and 50 mL/min for MI, LI and cyclosporine; p < or = 0.001 MI or LI versus cyclosporine). Belatacept patients experienced a higher incidence (MI: 22%, LI: 17% and cyclosporine: 7%) and grade of acute rejection episodes. Safety was generally similar between groups, but posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder was more common in the belatacept groups. Belatacept was associated with superior renal function and similar patient/graft survival versus cyclosporine at 1 year posttransplant, despite a higher rate of early acute rejection.