Interferon α kinoid induces neutralizing anti-interferon α antibodies that decrease the expression of interferon-induced and B cell activation associated transcripts: analysis of extended follow-up data from the interferon α kinoid phase I/II study

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2016 Oct;55(10):1901-5. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kew262. Epub 2016 Jun 28.


Objective: IFN α Kinoid (IFN-K) is a therapeutic vaccine composed of IFNα2b coupled to a carrier protein. In a phase I/II placebo-controlled trial, we observed that IFN-K significantly decreases the IFN gene signature in whole blood RNA samples from SLE patients. Here, we analysed extended follow-up data from IFN-K-treated patients, in order to evaluate persistence of neutralizing anti-IFNα Abs antibodies (Abs), and gene expression profiling.

Methods: Serum and whole blood RNA samples were obtained in IFN-K-treated patients included in the follow-up study, in order to determine binding and neutralizing anti-IFNα Ab titres, and perform high-throughput transcriptomic studies.

Results: Neutralization studies of 13 IFNα subtypes demonstrated the polyclonal nature of the Ab response induced by IFN-K. Follow-up analyses in six patients confirmed a significant correlation between neutralizing anti-IFNα Ab titres and decrease in IFN scores compared to baseline. These analyses also revealed an inhibitory effect of IFNα blockade on the expression of B cell associated transcripts.

Conclusions: IFN-K induces a polyclonal anti-IFNα response that decreases IFN- and B cell-associated transcripts.

Trial registration:,, NCT01058343.

Keywords: B cells; interferon alpha; interferon alpha kinoid; interferon signature; systemic lupus erythematosus.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / administration & dosage*
  • Interferon-alpha / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Recombinant Proteins

Associated data