FDA Alert For Nulojix

Kidney transplant rejection drug carries risks

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) informed healthcare professionals about the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) that is required for Nulojix to ensure that the benefits of Nulojix outweigh the risks of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), both of which can be fatal.

Patients treated with Nulojix are at an increased risk for developing PTLD, predominantly involving the central nervous system. PML has been reported in patients receiving Nulojix at higher than recommended doses as part of an immunosuppressant regimen.

BACKGROUND: FDA may require a REMS from a manufacturer before approval or post approval to ensure that the benefits of a drug or biological product outweigh its risks. Nulojix is a selective T-cell costimulation blocker recently approved for prophylaxis of organ rejection in adult patients receiving a kidney transplant. Nulojix is to be used in combination with basiliximab induction, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), and corticosteroids. Nulojix is indicated for use only in transplant patients who are Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) seropositive. Use in liver transplant patients is not recommended due to an increased risk of graft loss and death. Use of Nulojix for the prophylaxis of organ rejection in other transplanted organs has not been established.

RECOMMENDATION: Be sure to verify the patient’s EBV status before initiating therapy with Nulojix. BMS established the ENLiST Registry to further evaluate the safety profile of Nulojix. BMS encourages your participation in the ENLiST Registry.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm

Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178 

Review Date: 
July 8, 2011