Genentech’s Rituximab is currently considered as an effective therapeutic option to maintain remission in patients with frequently relapsing nephrotic syndrome (FRNS) or steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome (SDNS). The goal of this prospective study is to determine the potential interest of the use of Rituximab from the initial episode of Minimal Change Nephrotic Syndrome (MCNS) to reduce the risk of subsequent relapse, that is a major concern in the management of MCNS patients.
This Phase IIb single stage, randomized, open-label, parallel-group study will include 148 participants. It is a 1:1 ration, active controlled, multicenter trial testing the efficacy and safety of two injections of Rituximab separated by one week (375mg/m2), compared to the standard regimen of oral steroid alone (progressively tapered within 24 week) from episode to MCNS in adult.
The main objective is to demonstrate, from initial episode of MCNS in adults, once complete remission has occurred, that the use of Rituximab (two injections separated by one week 375mg/m2, with definitive steroids withdrawal after 9 weeks of treatment) may reduce the risk of subsequent MCNS relapse after 12 months of follow-up and may be a safe and an efficient treatment regimen compared to the standard regimen of exclusive oral steroid (progressively tapered within 24 weeks) The study will be a single stage phase IIb, randomized, open-label, parallel group, in a 1:1 ratio, active controlled, multicenter trial testing the efficacy and safety of two injections of Rituximab separated by one week 375mg/m2 compared to the standard regimen of oral steroid alone (progressively tapered within 24 weeks) from initial episode of biopsy-proven MCNS in adults. Since Rituximab therapy (when initiated in a context of steroid dependency MCNS) seems to be more effective in patients with complete remission and because of recent data from MSN trial showing that 70% of patients were in complete remission of nephrotic syndrome after 8 weeks of steroids, we decided to maximize the potential benefit, to perform randomization of patients after 8 weeks of steroid treatment. A potential risk factor of relapse is the time of CR occurrence, and because some patients reach CR at 4 weeks and others at 8 weeks, a randomization (1:1) with minimization strategy will be done in order to balance this factor between arms. The primary endpoint will be the incidence of MCNS relapse during the 12 months following randomization defined by the recurrence of nephrotic syndrome (urine protein/creatinine ratio (UPCR) ≥ 300mg/mmol and decreased albumin level (< 30 g/L) in a patient who was in complete remission.