New Treatment for Eosinophilic Gastritis and Duodenitis

ES Dellon et al. NEJM 2020; 383: 1624-1634. Anti–Siglec-8 Antibody for Eosinophilic Gastritis and Duodenitis

Background: AK002 (lirentelimab) is an anti-Siglec-8 antibody that depletes eosinophils and inhibits mast cells.

Methods: In this phase 2 trial, the authors randomly assigned adults (n=65) who had symptomatic eosinophilic gastritis, eosinophilic duodenitis, or both conditions in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive four monthly infusions of low-dose AK002, high-dose AK002, or placebo

Key findings:

  • The mean percentage change in gastrointestinal eosinophil count was −86% in the combined AK002 group, as compared with 9% in the placebo group
  • Treatment response  (>30% reduction in total symptom score and >75% reduction in gastrointestinal eosinophil count) occurred in 63% of the patients who received AK002 and in 5% of the patients who received placebo
  • The authors note that AK002 “also resulted in alleviation of dysphagia in patients with a history of concomitant eosinophilic esophagitis.”
  • Limitations: Small study and 10% developed antibodies to drug

My take: Larger phase 3 studies with AK002 are underway (NCT04322604 & NCT04322708). AK002 looks promising for eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases.

Change in total symptom score over 14 weeks. “Shown is the least-squares mean percentage change from baseline in total symptom score over time.” The total symptom score ranges from 0 to 80, with higher scores indicating greater symptom severity. Each of eight symptoms are given a score of 0 to 10: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, early satiety, loss of appetite, abdominal cramping, bloating and diarrhea.

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