Objectives: B cell depletion is an effective treatment strategy in ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV). Ofatumumab is a fully humanized anti-CD20 mAb that has shown efficacy in the treatment of haematological malignancy and RA. The use of ofatumumab in the treatment of AAV has not previously been reported.
Methods: This study was based on a case series of eight patients who received ofatumumab, in conjunction with low-dose CYC and oral steroids, in the treatment of AAV.
Results: Eight patients received ofatumumab: seven for remission induction in active disease (three relapsing; four with new disease) and one for remission maintenance. B cell depletion was achieved in all patients by 1 month, and was sustained for at least 6 months. All patients with active disease achieved clinical remission (BVAS of zero, or BVAS ⩽5 if all scores due to persistent urinary abnormalities in the presence of stable or improving renal function) by 3 months. This was associated with a rapid fall in ANCA titres, reduced inflammatory responses and improvements in renal function. At 12 months, three patients had repopulated B cells associated with the recurrence of circulating ANCAs, although no patients experienced major clinical relapse in the first 24 months. No unexpected side effects were observed.
Conclusion: Treatment with ofatumumab resulted in similar serological and clinical responses to those seen in previous cohorts treated at our centre with a comparable CS, CYC and rituximab-based regimen. Ofatumumab should be considered an alternative B cell depleting agent in patients who are intolerant of, or unresponsive to, rituximab.
Keywords: ANCA; B cells; biologic therapies; granulomatosis with polyangiitis; microscopic polyangiitis; vasculitis.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology.