DOI: 10.1681/asn.0000000000000329 ISSN: 1046-6673

Posoleucel in Kidney Transplant Recipients with BK Viremia: Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Phase 2 Trial

Anil Chandraker, Anil Regmi, Reginald Gohh, Akhil Sharma, E. Steve Woodle, Mohammed J. Ansari, Vinay Nair, Ling-Xin Chen, Tarek Alhamad, Silas Norman, Diane Cibrik, Manpreet Singh, Arnold Alper, Divya Jain, Ziad Zaky, Stuart Knechtle, Asif Sharfuddin, Gaurav Gupta, Bonnie E. Lonze, Jo-Anne H. Young, Deborah Adey, Arman Faravardeh, Darshana M. Dadhania, Ana P. Rossi, Diana Florescu, Francesca Cardarelli, Julie Ma, Sarah Gilmore, Spyridoula Vasileiou, Peter Jindra, David Wojciechowski
  • Nephrology
  • General Medicine


Kidney transplant recipients with BK virus infection are at risk of developing BK virus-associated nephropathy, allograft rejection, and subsequent graft loss. There are no approved treatments for BK virus infection. Posoleucel is an off-the-shelf, allogeneic, multivirus-specific T cell investigational therapy targeting BK virus, as well as five other opportunistic viruses: adenovirus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 6, and JC virus.


In this phase 2, double-blind study, kidney transplant recipients with BK viremia were randomized 1:1:1 to receive posoleucel weekly for 3 weeks then every 14 days (bi-weekly dosing) or every 28 days (monthly dosing), or placebo for 12 weeks. Participants were followed for 12 weeks after completing treatment. The primary objective was safety, the secondary objective was plasma BK viral load reduction.


61 participants were randomized and dosed. Baseline characteristics were similar across groups. No deaths, graft-versus-host disease, or cytokine release syndrome occurred. The proportion of patients who had adverse events judged by the investigators to be treatment-related was slightly lower in recipients of posoleucel: 20% (4 of 20 patients) and 18% (4 of 22) in those infused on a bi-weekly and monthly schedule, respectively, and 26% (5 of 19) in placebo recipients. None of the grade 3-4 AEs or serious adverse events in any group were deemed treatment-related. No deaths, graft-versus-host disease, or cytokine release syndrome occurred. Three participants had allograft rejection, but none were deemed treatment-related by investigators. In posoleucel recipients, BK viremia reduction was associated with an increase in the circulating frequency of BK virus-specific T cells, and the presence and persistence of posoleucel was confirmed by T cell receptor sequencing.


Posoleucel was generally safe, well tolerated, and associated with a larger reduction of BK viremia compared to placebo. Limitations of this study include the relatively short duration of follow-up and lack of power to detect significant differences in clinical outcomes.

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