Belatacept is the first costimulatory blockade agent approved for maintenance immunosuppression in kidney transplant recipients. Clinical results have indicated that belatacept is associated with superior renal function and improved metabolic profile; however, higher incidence of acute rejection and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder are the shortcomings of this agent. In this study, ASP2409, a new cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein 4-immunoglobulin possessing 14-fold higherin vitroCD86 binding affinity than belatacept, was tested for renal allograft survival in cynomolgus monkeys. ASP2409 monotherapy dose-dependently prolonged renal allograft survival. Low-dose ASP2409 in combination with a subtherapeutic dose of tacrolimus showed much longer median survival time than monotherapy. Similar allograft survival results were observed in regimens based on high-dose ASP2409, belatacept, and therapeutic-dose tacrolimus. The results of renal allograft histopathology with high-dose ASP2409-based regimens were not inferior to the belatacept-based regimen. Moreover, higher frequencies of FoxP3-positive regulatory T cells in renal allografts were observed in ASP2409- and belatacept-based regimens compared with tacrolimus-based regimens. No serious side effects related to ASP2409 administration were found during the study. These data suggest that ASP2409 is a promising candidate for calcineurin inhibitor-sparing or -avoidance regimens.
ASP2409, a new CD86-selective CTLA4-Ig, exhibits potent immunosuppressive effects in monotherapy and in combination with tacrolimus or mycophenolate mofetil in a monkey renal transplantation model.