Novel once-daily extended-release tacrolimus (LCPT) versus twice-daily tacrolimus in de novo kidney transplants: one-year results of Phase III, double-blind, randomized trial

Am J Transplant. 2014 Dec;14(12):2796-806. doi: 10.1111/ajt.12955. Epub 2014 Oct 2.


This Phase III randomized trial examined efficacy and safety of a novel once-daily extended-release tacrolimus formulation (LCP-Tacro [LCPT]) versus twice-daily tacrolimus in de novo kidney transplantation. Primary efficacy end point was proportion of patients with treatment failure (death, graft failure, biopsy-proven acute rejection or lost to follow-up) within 12 months. Starting doses were, LCPT: 0.17 mg/kg/day and tacrolimus twice-daily: 0.1 mg/kg/day; 543 patients were randomized, LCPT: n = 268; tacrolimus twice-daily: n = 275. At 12 months treatment failure was LCPT: 18.3% and tacrolimus twice-daily: 19.6%; the upper 95% CI of the treatment difference was +5.27%, below the predefined +10% noninferiority criteria. There were no significant differences in the incidence of individual efficacy events or adverse events. Target tacrolimus trough levels were more rapidly achieved in the LCPT group. Following initial dose, 36.6% of patients in the LCPT group had rapidly attained trough levels within 6-11 ng/mL versus 18.5% of tacrolimus twice-daily patients; majority of tacrolimus twice-daily patients (74.7%) had troughs <6 ng/mL compared with 33.5% in the LCPT group. Overall, cumulative study dose was 14% lower for LCPT. Results suggest that use of once-daily LCPT in de novo kidney transplantation is efficacious and safe. Lower LCPT dose reflects the improved absorption provided by the novel formulation.

Keywords: calcineurin inhibitor: tacrolimus; clinical research/practice; clinical trial; immunosuppressant; immunosuppression/immune modulation; kidney transplantation/nephrology.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Graft Rejection / drug therapy*
  • Graft Rejection / etiology
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Tacrolimus / administration & dosage*
  • Time Factors


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Tacrolimus