Phase 2
Rheumatoid Arthritis ILD
Intervention Type:
Intravenous (IV) Injection
Funder Type:
Organization | University

Drug Details

Abatacept is a fusion protein composed of the Fc region of the immunoglobulin IgG1 fused to the extracellular domain of CTLA-4.

Study Purpose

Early initiation of treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can prevent several of the long term problems associated with the condition. However, many RA patients develop lung inflammation and scarring, called 'interstitial lung disease' (RA-ILD), contributing to early death in 1 in 5 people. There is no proven treatment for these patients and some medications for RA can in fact worsen their lung disease. There is a need therefore to find safe medications that can not only control RA joint disease, but also prevent progression of RA-ILD. Abatacept is an approved drug for treating RA and is used widely. It is a newer RA medication, with a unique mechanism of action, and it has been shown to prevent progression of joint damage and improve physical function. The investigators aim to assess the safety of this medication in patients with RA-ILD and improve our understanding of the mechanism of lung damage in rheumatoid disease. The investigators will perform a small clinical trial to assess the feasibility of performing a larger randomized controlled trial. A total of 30 patients with RA-ILD will be treated with abatacept infusions fortnightly for the first month, then every 4 weeks for a total of 20 weeks. In order to be eligible for the study, a patient must be able to provide written informed consent, be aged ≥18 years, and have interstitial lung disease that has not responded to or progressed over 6 months despite conventional immunosuppression. Change in lung function (forced vital capacity) at 24 weeks will be evaluated. To assess the mechanisms that may be involved with the development of ILD, the investigators will assess the effects of abatacept on biomarkers obtained from the blood and the lung (bronchoalveolar lavage), including markers of infection (the lung microbiome).

This drug has no clinical trials actively recruiting patients at this time.