The clinical profile of belatacept in kidney transplant recipients was evaluated to determine if earlier results in the BENEFIT study were sustained at 3 years. BENEFIT is a randomized 3 year, phase III study in adults receiving a kidney transplant from a living or standard criteria deceased donor. Patients were randomized to a more (MI) or less intensive (LI) regimen of belatacept, or cyclosporine. 471/666 patients completed ≥3 years of therapy. A total of 92% (MI), 92% (LI), and 89% (cyclosporine) of patients survived with a functioning graft. The mean calculated GFR (cGFR) was ˜21 mL/min/1.73 m2 higher in the belatacept groups versus cyclosporine at year 3. From month 3 to month 36, the mean cGFR increased in the belatacept groups by +1.0 mL/min/1.73 m2/year (MI) and +1.2 mL/min/1.73 m2/year (LI) versus a decline of −2.0 mL/min/1.73 m2/year (cyclosporine). One cyclosporine-treated patient experienced acute rejection between year 2 and year 3. There were no new safety signals and no new posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) cases after month 18. Belatacept-treated patients maintained a high rate of patient and graft survival that was comparable to cyclosporine-treated patients, despite an early increased occurrence of acute rejection and PTLD.
Three-year results from the BENEFIT study confirm the durability of the renal function benefits of belatacept over time compared to cyclosporine, balancing the early risks (acute rejection, posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder) associated with belatacept.