Drug improves survival rate for kidney transplant patients

UPI | Stephen Feller

Belatacept has been shown to reduce risk of organ rejection and death in kidney transplant recipients compared to standard treatment. While the standard post-transplant treatment is effective at preventing rejection of the new organ, over time it can degrade the function of the new kidney. Photo by hywards/Shutterstock

FRANCISCO (UPI) -- The drug belatacept, sold as Nulojix, showed better organ survival in kidney transplant recipients than the current standard of care, according to a multi-year, worldwide study.

Researchers at Emory University and the University of California San Francisco found the drug slashed the risk of death or organ rejection nearly in half of transplant patients over the course of the seven-year study.

Belatacept, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011, was better at preserving kidney function over the long term and more effectively suppressed antibodies against the transplanted organs than the standard calcineurin inhibitor drugs. The FDA approval was based on the first three years of data from the new study, researchers said. Continue reading