Heart. 2020 Nov 23:heartjnl-2020-317928. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2020-317928. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: Recurrent pericarditis (RP) incurs significant morbidity. Rilonacept inhibits both interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1α) and IL-1β; these cytokines are thought to play a major role in RP. This phase II study evaluated rilonacept efficacy and safety in RP.
METHODS: This multicentre, open-label study enrolled adult patients with idiopathic or postpericardiotomy RP, symptomatic (≥2 pericarditis recurrences) or corticosteroid (CS) dependent (≥2 recurrences prior).Patients received rilonacept 320 mg SC load/160 mg SC weekly maintenance in a 6-week base treatment period (TP) followed by an optional 18-week on-treatment extension period (EP) (option to wean background therapy).
RESULTS: Outcomes: pericarditis pain (numeric rating scale (NRS)) and inflammation (C reactive protein (CRP)) for symptomatic patients; disease activity after CS taper for CS-dependent patients.
SECONDARY OUTCOMES: health-related quality of life (HRQOL), pericarditis manifestations and additional medications. 25 unique patients enrolled, while 23 completed the EP (seven colchicine failures and five CS failures). In symptomatic patients, NRS and CRP decreased; response was observed after first rilonacept dose. NRS decreased from 4.5 at baseline to 0.7, and CRP decreased from 4.62 mg/dL at baseline to 0.38 mg/dL at end of TP. Median time to CRP normalisation: 9 days. Pericarditis manifestations resolved. 13 patients on CS at baseline completed the EP; 11 (84.6%) discontinued CS, and 2 tapered; CRP and NRS remained low without recurrence. Mean HRQOL scores improved in symptomatic patients. One serious adverse event (SAE) resulted in discontinuation of rilonacept.
CONCLUSIONS: Rilonacept led to rapid and sustained improvement in pain, inflammation (CRP and pericarditis manifestations) and HRQOL. CSs were successfully tapered or discontinued; safety was consistent with known rilonacept safety profile.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT03980522.