Safety and Efficacy of Lenabasum in a Phase II, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial in Adults With Systemic Sclerosis

Robert Spiera, Laura Hummers, Lorinda Chung, Tracy M. Frech, Robyn Domsic, Vivien Hsu, Daniel E. Furst, Jessica Gordon, Maureen Mayes, Robert Simms, Robert Lafyatis, Viktor Martyanov, Tammara Wood, Michael L. Whitfield, Scott Constantine, Elizabeth Lee, Nancy Dgetluck, Barbara White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the safety and efficacy of lenabasum in diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc). Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase II study was conducted at 9 SSc clinics in the US. Adults with dcSSc of ≤6 years’ duration who were receiving stable standard-of-care treatment were randomized to receive lenabasum (n = 27) or placebo (n = 15). Lenabasum doses were 5 mg once daily, 20 mg once daily, or 20 mg twice daily for 4 weeks, followed by 20 mg twice daily for 8 weeks. Safety and efficacy were assessed at weeks 4, 8, 12, and 16. Results: Adverse events (AEs) occurred in 63% of the lenabasum group and 60% of the placebo group, with no serious AEs related to lenabasum. Compared to placebo, lenabasum treatment was associated with greater improvement in the American College of Rheumatology Combined Response Index in diffuse cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis (CRISS) score and other efficacy outcome measures that assessed overall disease, skin involvement, and patient-reported function. The median CRISS score increased in the lenabasum group during the study, reaching 0.33, versus 0.00 in the placebo group, at week 16 (P = 0.07 by 2-sided mixed-effects model repeated-measures analysis). Gene expression in inflammation and fibrosis pathways was reduced, and inflammation and fibrosis were improved on histologic evaluation of skin biopsy specimens, in the lenabasum group compared to the placebo group (all P ≤ 0.05). Conclusion: Despite a short trial duration in a small number of patients in this phase II study in dcSSc, our findings indicate that lenabasum improves efficacy outcomes and underlying disease pathology with a favorable safety profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1350-1360
Number of pages11
JournalArthritis and Rheumatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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