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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Dec;17(12):1952-7. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00175-10. Epub 2010 Oct 20.

Influenza and meningococcal vaccinations are effective in healthy subjects treated with the interleukin-1 beta-blocking antibody canakinumab: results of an open-label, parallel group, randomized, single-center study.

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  • 1Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Translational Science, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of influenza and meningococcal vaccines in healthy subjects exposed to the anti-interleukin-1β (anti-IL-1β) monoclonal antibody canakinumab. This was an open-label, parallel group, randomized, single-center study of healthy subjects (aged 18 to 45 years). At baseline, antibody (Ab) titers were measured and subjects were randomized (1:1) to a single 300-mg canakinumab dose administered subcutaneously (s.c.) or received no treatment (control group). After 2 weeks, subjects were treated with inactivated, unadjuvanted influenza and conjugated group C meningococcal (MenC) vaccines, administered intramuscularly (i.m.). The primary efficacy variable was the response (≥ 2-fold increase in Ab titer in ≥ 2 of 3 influenza virus strains) after 4 weeks in subjects treated with canakinumab compared to the control group. Secondary efficacy variables were the antibody response to vaccines at different thresholds and time points. Fifty-one of 112 subjects screened were randomized to canakinumab (n = 25) or the control group (n = 26). Antibody responses to vaccinations measured against different influenza virus strains and one MenC strain at 4 weeks were comparable in the canakinumab and control groups. The primary efficacy variable, the response to influenza vaccination (≥ 2-fold increase in Ab titer in ≥ 2 of 3 serotypes) at 4 weeks, was shown in 24/25 subjects in the canakinumab group compared to 25/25 subjects in the control group. Antibody responses remained comparable in the two groups at the different time points assessed. Headache was the most frequently reported adverse event. No deaths or serious adverse events were reported during the study. We concluded that a single dose of 300 mg canakinumab s.c. does not affect the induction or persistence of antibody responses after vaccination with unadjuvanted influenza or alum-adjuvanted MenC vaccines in healthy subjects.

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