Relationship Between Anifrolumab Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, and Efficacy in Patients With Moderate to Severe Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Yen Lin Chia, Raj Tummala, Tu H. Mai, Tomas Rouse, Katie Streicher, Wendy I. White, Eric F. Morand, Richard A. Furie

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to elucidate the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic and pharmacodynamic/efficacy relationships of anifrolumab, a type I interferon receptor antibody, in patients with moderate to severe systemic lupus erythematosus. Data were pooled from the randomized, 52-week, placebo-controlled TULIP-1 and TULIP-2 trials of intravenous anifrolumab (150 mg/300 mg, every 4 weeks for 48 weeks). Pharmacodynamic neutralization was measured with a 21-gene type I interferon gene signature (21-IFNGS) in patients with high IFNGS. The pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship was analyzed graphically and modeled with a nonlinear mixed-effects model. British Isles Lupus Assessment Group–based Composite Lupus Assessment (BICLA) response rates were compared across 21-IFNGS neutralization quartiles. Overall, 819 patients received ≥1 dose of anifrolumab or placebo, of whom 676 were IFNGS high. Over 52 weeks, higher average anifrolumab serum concentrations were associated with increased median 21-IFNGS neutralization, which was rapid and sustained with anifrolumab 300 mg (>80%, weeks 12-52), lower and delayed with anifrolumab 150 mg (>50%, week 52), and minimal with placebo. The proportion of patients with week 24 anifrolumab trough concentration exceeding the IC80 (3.88 μg/mL) was greater with anifrolumab 300 mg vs anifrolumab 150 mg (≈83% vs ≈27%), owing to the higher estimated median trough concentration (15.6 vs 0.2 μg/mL). BICLA response rates increased with 21-IFNGS neutralization; more patients had a BICLA response in the highest vs lowest neutralization quartiles at week 52 (58.1% vs 37.6%). In conclusion, anifrolumab 300 mg every 4 weeks rapidly, substantially, and sustainably neutralized the 21-IFNGS and was associated with clinical efficacy, supporting this dosing regimen in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1094-1105
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • anifrolumab
  • interferon
  • pharmacodynamics
  • pharmacokinetics
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

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