Use of the rhIL-22 dimer F-652 with systemic steroids appeared safe and was associated with a high response rate in newly diagnosed GI GVHD.
Patients responding after tissue-targeted therapy with F-652 and corticosteroids demonstrated an expansion of healthy commensal GI flora.
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality following allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation. In experimental models, interleukin-22 promotes epithelial regeneration and induces innate antimicrobial molecules. We conducted a multicenter single-arm phase 2 study evaluating the safety and efficacy of a novel recombinant human interleukin-22 dimer, F-652, used in combination with systemic corticosteroids for treatment of newly diagnosed lower gastrointestinal acute GVHD. The most common adverse events were cytopenias and electrolyte abnormalities, and there were no dose-limiting toxicities. Out of 27 patients, 19 (70%; 80% confidence interval, 56%-79%) achieved a day-28 treatment response, meeting the prespecified primary endpoint. Responders exhibited a distinct fecal microbiota composition characterized by expansion of commensal anaerobes, which correlated with increased overall microbial α-diversity, suggesting improvement of GVHD-associated dysbiosis. This work demonstrates a potential approach for combining immunosuppression with tissue-supportive strategies to enhance recovery of damaged mucosa and promote microbial health in patients with gastrointestinal GVHD. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02406651.
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