Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

<h4>Objective</h4>To evaluate the safety and efficacy of belimumab as adjunctive therapy to maintain remission in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV).<h4>Methods</h4>In this multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients with AAV (ages ≥18 years) were randomized 1:1 to receive azathioprine (2 mg/kg/day), low-dose oral glucocorticoids (≤10 mg/day), and either intravenous belimumab (10 mg/kg) or placebo, following remission induction with rituximab or cyclophosphamide along with glucocorticoids. The primary end point was time to first protocol-specified event (PSE), with first PSE defined as a Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score (BVAS) of ≥6, presence of ≥1 major BVAS item, or receipt of prohibited medications for any reason, resulting in treatment failure (adjusted for ANCA type [proteinase 3 (PR3) or myeloperoxidase (MPO)], disease stage at induction, and induction regimen). Vasculitis relapse was defined as the PSE of either a BVAS activity score of ≥6 or receipt of prohibited medications for vasculitis. Changes in treatment practice led to truncation of the study population from ~300 patients to ~100 patients.<h4>Results</h4>The intent-to-treat population totaled 105 patients with AAV, of whom 52 (40 with PR3-ANCAs, 12 with MPO-ANCAs) received placebo and 53 (41 with PR3-ANCAs, 12 with MPO-ANCAs) received belimumab; 27 of the patients were in rituximab-induced disease remission, while 78 were in cyclophosphamide-induced disease remission at baseline. Compared with placebo, treatment with belimumab did not reduce the risk of a PSE (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.07, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.44-2.59; P = 0.884) or vasculitis relapse (adjusted HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.29-2.65; P = 0.821). The overall rate of PSEs was low (11 [21.2%] of 52 patients receiving placebo, 10 [18.9%] of 53 patients receiving belimumab). Vasculitis relapse in the placebo group (n = 8) occurred independent of the induction regimen, disease stage, or ANCA type. All vasculitis relapses in the belimumab group (n = 6) occurred in patients who had PR3-ANCA-associated vasculitis with cyclophosphamide-induced disease remission. Adverse events occurred in 49 (92.5%) of 53 patients receiving belimumab and 43 (82.7%) of 52 patients receiving placebo, with no new safety concerns.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Belimumab plus azathioprine and glucocorticoids for the maintenance of remission in AAV did not reduce the risk of relapse.

Original publication




Journal article


Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.)

Publication Date





952 - 963


University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


BREVAS Study Collaborators, B-Lymphocytes, Humans, Cyclophosphamide, Azathioprine, Immunoglobulins, Immunosuppressive Agents, Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic, Glucocorticoids, Treatment Outcome, Drug Therapy, Combination, Remission Induction, Double-Blind Method, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized, Maintenance Chemotherapy, Rituximab, Infections