Daclizumab has been found to reduce the risk of cellular rejection after a heart transplant when used on top of standard immunosuppression.
The drug, a humanized monoclonal antibody, is directed against the interleukin-2 receptor, thereby inhibiting T-cell proliferation.
Patients who were taken into the Study were either given daclizumab or a placebo.
The primary endpoint was a composite of moderate or severe cellular rejection, hemodynamically significant graft dysfunction, a second transplantation, or death or loss to follow-up within 6 months.
It has been reported 44.7% of patients in the placebo group reached the primary endpoint, versus just 35.6% in the daclizumab group-equivalent to a 25% relative risk reduction with the novel therapy Rejection was also less common with Daclizumab than Placebo. However, six patients receiving daclizumab died from infection when receiving concomitant cytolytic therapy compared with none in the placebo group.
When the negative aspect of daclizumab use is examined, researchers would not be willing to trade even a small increase in the risk of death from infection for a reduction in the risk of histologic rejection.