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Protocol Details

A Pilot Study of Anakinra in Behcet's Disease (BD)

This study is currently recruiting participants.

Summary | Eligibility | Citations | Contacts




Sponsoring Institute

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Recruitment Detail

Type: Participants currently recruited/enrolled
Gender: Male & Female
Min Age: 18
Max Age: 65

Referral Letter Required


Population Exclusion(s)


Special Instructions

Currently Not Provided


Behcet's Disease;
Aphthous Ulcer;

Recruitment Keyword(s)

Behcet's Disease;


Autoimmune/Connective Tissue Diseases;
Immune System Diseases;
Behcet's Disease

Investigational Drug(s)


Investigational Device(s)



Drug: Anakinra
Other: Placebo

Supporting Site

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases


- Behcet s disease (BD) is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the body. People with BD may develop oral or genital ulcers, skin problems, and eye disease. Most drugs used to treat BD suppress the immune system, but they are not always helpful and may have side effects. A new drug, anakinra, may be able to treat BD with fewer side effects. Because it has not been studied in people with BD, anakinra is considered an experimental treatment.


- To test whether anakinra can be a safe and effective treatment for Behcet s disease.


- People who have active Behcet's disease, with an oral or genital ulcer within the past month, or three or more flares of eye disease in the past 6 months.


- Participants will be screened with a physical exam and medical history. They will also have blood and urine tests. They will be divided into two groups: those with oral or genital ulcers and those with eye disease.

- All participants will keep a diary of symptoms for a month before starting the study drug.

- Participants with oral or genital ulcers will receive daily injections of anakinra for 3 to 6 months. Treatment will be monitored with frequent blood draws and daily diaries. Those who improve but do not have a full response to the drug may receive a higher dose. Those who improve after 6 months may have an extra 6 months on either anakinra or placebo to study the differences in response.

- Participants with eye disease will receive anakinra for up to 12 months. Treatment will be monitored with frequent blood draws, daily diaries, and regular eye exams.

- All participants will have a final study visit 1 month after stopping the study drug.

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1. Male or female subjects with BD associated inflammatory disease greater than or equal 18 years of age

2. Participation in NIH study #03-AR-0173 ( Studies of the Natural History, Pathogenesis, and Outcome of Autoinflammatory Diseases )

3. Diagnosis of Behcet s disease as determined by the International Study Group Criteria [17] or by complete Japanese Criteria [18].

4. Active mucocutaneous disease as defined by at least one oral or genital ulcer within the past month.

5. Stable dose of steroids, NSAIDs, DMARDs, or colchicine for four weeks prior to enrollment visit.

6. For patients with ocular disease, no active intermediate or posterior disease at enrolment but history of an ocular flare (greater than or equal to 3 in the last 6 months) in the presence of any systemic anti-inflammatory therapy such as prednisone, azathioprine, Mycophenolate, methotrexate, cyclosporine, a TNF inhibitor, or a combination of these medications. Patients must have developed active disease in the presence of at treatment with at least one of the following medications for at least six months: azathioprine, cyclosporine, or a TNF inhibitor.

7. Females of childbearing potential (young women who have had at least one menstrual period regardless of age) must have a negative urine pregnancy test at screening and a negative serum pregnancy test at baseline prior to performance of any radiologic procedure or administration of study medication. Female patients will be screened for pregnancy at all NIH visits.

8. Women of childbearing age and men able to father a child, who are sexually active, who agree to use a form of effective birth control, including abstinence.

9. Either (1) a negative PPD test using 5 T.U. intradermal testing per CDC guidelines and no evidence of active TB on chest X-ray at the time of enrollment or (2) a positive PPD with no evidence of active TB by history or on chest X-ray at the time of enrollment and either past or present treatment with adequate therapy for at least one month prior to first dose of study medication. Full prophylaxis regimens will be completed. Subjects who have been BCG-vaccinated will also be skin-tested.

10. Able to understand, and complete study-related questionnaires.

11. Able and willing to give informed consent and abide with the study procedures.


1. Treatment with a live virus vaccine during 3 months prior to baseline visit. No live vaccines will be allowed throughout the course of this study.

2. Patients with ocular disease who received local treatments other than eye drops (i.e. periocular or intraocular steroids, implants or other anti-inflammatory agents within 4 weeks prior to enrolment)

3. Current treatment with TNF inhibitors or discontinuation of TNF inhibitors within 8 weeks.

4. Presence of active infections or a history of pulmonary TB infection. Patients with a history of exposure to TB (positive PPD) who have not been treated with a TB prophylaxis regimen for at least one month.

5. Chest x-ray read by a radiologist with pleural scarring and/or calcified granuloma consistent with prior TB.

6. Positive test for or prior history of HIV, Hepatitis B or C.

7. History or concomitant diagnosis of congestive heart failure.

8. History of malignancy. Subjects deemed cured of superficial malignancies such as cutaneous basal or squamous cell carcinomas, or in situ cervical cancer may be enrolled.

9. Known hypersensitivity to CHO cell derived biologicals or any components of anakinra.

10. Presence of any additional rheumatic disease or significant systemic disease. For example, major chronic infectious/ inflammatory/ immunologic disease (such as inflammatory bowel disease, psoriatic arthritis, spondyloarthropathy, SLE in addition to autoinflammatory disease).

11. Presence of any of the following laboratory abnormalities at enrollment visit: creatinine > 1.5 times the ULN, WBC < 3.6 times10(9)/mm(3); platelet count < 75,000 mm(3); ALT or AST > 2.0 times the ULN

12. Lactating females or pregnant females.

13. Subjects with asthma not adequately controlled on current inhaled therapy for at least four weeks.

14. Enrollment in any other investigational treatment study or use of an investigational agent, or has not yet completed at least 4 weeks or 5 half-lives, whichever is longer, since ending another investigational device or drug trial.

15. Subjects for whom there is concern about compliance with the protocol procedures.

16. Presence of other severe acute or chronic medical or psychiatric condition, or significant laboratory abnormality requiring further investigation that may cause undue risk for the subject s safety, inhibit protocol participation, or interfere with interpretation of study results, and in the judgment of the investigator would make the subject inappropriate for entry into this study.

17. Treatment within the past 12 months with canakinumab

18. Active neurologic disease which would require cyclophosphamide treatment. Active neurologic disease is defined as either new evidence of parenchymal (meningoencephalitis) or non-parenchymal (vascular complications including thrombosis) disease.

19. Subjects who experience an end organ flare after discontinuation of a TNF inhibitor as part of this study.

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Aksentijevich I, D Putnam C, Remmers EF, Mueller JL, Le J, Kolodner RD, Moak Z, Chuang M, Austin F, Goldbach-Mansky R, Hoffman HM, Kastner DL. The clinical continuum of cryopyrinopathies: novel CIAS1 mutations in North American patients and a new cryopyrin model. Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Apr;56(4):1273-85.

Aksentijevich I, Nowak M, Mallah M, Chae JJ, Watford WT, Hofmann SR, Stein L, usso R, Goldsmith D, Dent P, Rosenberg HF, Austin F, Remmers EF, Balow JE Jr, Rosenzweig S, Komarow H, Shoham NG, Wood G, Jones J, Mangra N, Carrero H, Adams BS, Moore TL, Schikler K, Hoffman H, Lovell DJ, Lipnick R, Barron K, O'Shea JJ, Kastner DL, Goldbach-Mansky R. De novo CIAS1 mutations, cytokine activation, and evidence for genetic heterogeneity in patients with neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID): a new member of the expanding family of pyrin-associated autoinflammatory diseases. Arthritis Rheum. 2002 Dec;46(12):3340-8.

Feldmann J, Prieur AM, Quartier P, Berquin P, Certain S, Cortis E, Teillac-Hamel D, Fischer A, de Saint Basile G. Chronic infantile neurological cutaneous and articular syndrome is caused by mutations in CIAS1, a gene highly expressed in polymorphonuclear cells and chondrocytes. Am J Hum Genet. 2002 Jul;71(1):198-203. Epub 2002 May 24.

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Principal Investigator

Referral Contact

For more information:

Peter C. Grayson, M.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
BG 10 RM 6N216G
(301) 827-9187

Elaine M. Novakovich
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
National Institutes of Health
Building 10
Room 6N226
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
(301) 451-1450

Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office
Building 61
10 Cloister Court
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-4754
Toll Free: 1-800-411-1222
TTY: 301-594-9774 (local),1-866-411-1010 (toll free)
Fax: 301-480-9793

Clinical Trials Number:


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