Importance: Eritoran is a synthetic lipid A antagonist that blocks lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from binding at the cell surface MD2-TLR4 receptor. LPS is a major component of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria and is a potent activator of the acute inflammatory response.
Objective: To determine if eritoran, a TLR4 antagonist, would significantly reduce sepsis-induced mortality.
Design, setting, and participants: We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multinational phase 3 trial in 197 intensive care units. Patients were enrolled from June 2006 to September 2010 and final follow-up was completed in September 2011.
Interventions: Patients with severe sepsis (n = 1961) were randomized and treated within 12 hours of onset of first organ dysfunction in a 2:1 ratio with a 6-day course of either eritoran tetrasodium (105 mg total) or placebo, with n = 1304 and n = 657 patients, respectively.
Main outcome measures: The primary end point was 28-day all-cause mortality. The secondary end points were all-cause mortality at 3, 6, and 12 months after beginning treatment.
Results: Baseline characteristics of the 2 study groups were similar. In the modified intent-to-treat analysis (randomized patients who received at least 1 dose) there was no significant difference in the primary end point of 28-day all-cause mortality with 28.1% (366/1304) in the eritoran group vs 26.9% (177/657) in the placebo group (P = .59; hazard ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.88-1.26; difference in mortality rate, -1.1; 95% CI, -5.3 to 3.1) or in the key secondary end point of 1-year all-cause mortality with 44.1% (290/657) in the eritoran group vs 43.3% (565/1304) in the placebo group, Kaplan-Meier analysis of time to death by 1 year, P = .79 (hazard ratio, 0.98; 0.85-1.13). No significant differences were observed in any of the prespecified subgroups. Adverse events, including secondary infection rates, did not differ between study groups.
Conclusions and relevance: Among patients with severe sepsis, the use of eritoran, compared with placebo, did not result in reduced 28-day mortality.
Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00334828.