Simulect (Page 2 of 3)

Long-Term Followup

Five-year patient survival and graft survival data were provided by 71% and 58% of the original subjects of Study 1 and Study 2, respectively. Subjects in both studies continued to receive a dual-therapy regimen with cyclosporine, USP (MODIFIED) and corticosteroid. No difference was observed between groups in the 5-year graft survival in either Study 1 (91% Simulect group, 92% placebo group) or Study 2 (85% Simulect group, 86% placebo group). In Study 1, patient survival was lower in the Simulect-treated patients compared to the placebo-treated patients (142/163 [87%] vs. 156/164 [95%], respectively). The cause of this difference in survival is unknown. The data do not indicate an increase in malignancy- or infection-related mortality. In Study 2, patient survival in the placebo group (90%) was the same compared to Simulect group (90%).

Simulect Indications and Usage

Simulect® (basiliximab) is indicated for the prophylaxis of acute organ rejection in patients receiving renal transplantation when used as part of an immunosuppressive regimen that includes cyclosporine, USP (MODIFIED), and corticosteroids.

The efficacy of Simulect for the prophylaxis of acute rejection in recipients of other solid organ allografts has not been demonstrated.


Simulect® (basiliximab) is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to basiliximab or any other component of the formulation. See composition of Simulect under DESCRIPTION.



Simulect® (basiliximab) should be administered under qualified medical supervision. Patients should be informed of the potential benefits of therapy and the risks associated with administration of immunosuppressive therapy.

While neither the incidence of lymphoproliferative disorders nor opportunistic infections was higher in Simulect-treated patients than in placebo-treated patients, patients on immunosuppressive therapy are at increased risk for developing these complications and should be monitored accordingly.


Severe acute (onset within 24 hours) hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis have been observed both on initial exposure to Simulect and/or following re-exposure after several months. These reactions may include hypotension, tachycardia, cardiac failure, dyspnea, wheezing, bronchospasm, pulmonary edema, respiratory failure, urticaria, rash, pruritus, and/or sneezing. Extreme caution should be exercised in all patients previously given Simulect when being administered a subsequent course of Simulect. A subgroup of patients may be particularly at risk of developing severe hypersensitivity reactions on re-administration. These are patients in whom concomitant immunosuppression was discontinued prematurely (e.g., due to abandoned transplantation or early loss of the graft) following the initial administration of Simulect. If a severe hypersensitivity reaction occurs, therapy with Simulect should be permanently discontinued. Medications for the treatment of severe hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis should be available for immediate use.



It is not known whether Simulect® (basiliximab) use will have a long-term effect on the ability of the immune system to respond to antigens first encountered during Simulect-induced immunosuppression.


Of renal transplantation patients treated with Simulect and tested for anti-idiotype antibodies, 4/339 developed an anti-idiotype antibody response, with no deleterious clinical effect upon the patient. In none of these cases was there evidence that the presence of anti-idiotype antibody accelerated Simulect clearance or decreased the period of receptor saturation. In Study 2, the incidence of human anti-murine antibody (HAMA) in renal transplantation patients treated with Simulect was 2/138 in patients not exposed to muromonab-CD3 and 4/34 in patients who subsequently received muromonab-CD3. The available clinical data on the use of muromonab-CD3 in patients previously treated with Simulect suggest that subsequent use of muromonab-CD3 or other murine anti-lymphocytic antibody preparations is not precluded.

These data reflect the percentage of patients whose test results were considered positive for antibodies to Simulect in an ELISA assay, and are highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assay. Additionally the observed incidence of antibody positivity in an assay may be influenced by several factors, including sample handling, concomitant medications, and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to Simulect with the incidence of antibodies to other products may be misleading.

Drug Interactions

No dose adjustment is necessary when Simulect is added to triple-immunosuppression regimens, including cyclosporine, corticosteroids, and either azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil. Three clinical trials have investigated Simulect use in combination with triple-therapy regimens. Pharmacokinetics were assessed in two of these trials. Total body clearance of Simulect was reduced by an average 22% and 51% when azathioprine and mycophenolate mofetil, respectively, were added to a regimen consisting of cyclosporine, USP (MODIFIED) and corticosteroids. Nonetheless, the range of individual Simulect clearance values in the presence of azathioprine (12-57 mL/h) or mycophenolate mofetil (7-54 mL/h) did not extend outside the range observed with dual therapy (10-78 mL/h). The following medications have been administered in clinical trials with Simulect with no increase in adverse reactions: ATG/ALG, azathioprine, corticosteroids, cyclosporine, mycophenolate mofetil, and muromonab-CD3.

Carcinogenesis/Mutagenesis/Impairment of Fertility

No mutagenic potential of Simulect was observed in the i n vitro assays with Salmonella (Ames) and V79 Chinese hamster cells. No long-term or fertility studies in laboratory animals have been performed to evaluate the potential of Simulect to produce carcinogenicity or fertility impairment, respectively.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. No maternal toxicity, embryotoxicity, or teratogenicity was observed in cynomolgus monkeys 100 days post coitum following dosing with basiliximab during the organogenesis period; blood levels in pregnant monkeys were 13-fold higher than those seen in human patients. Immunotoxicology studies have not been performed in the offspring. Because IgG molecules are known to cross the placental barrier, because the IL-2 receptor may play an important role in development of the immune system, and because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, Simulect should only be used in pregnant women when the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential should use effective contraception before beginning Simulect therapy, during therapy, and for 4 months after completion of Simulect therapy.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether Simulect is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs, including human antibodies are excreted in human milk, and because of the potential for adverse reactions, a decision should be made to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

No randomized, placebo-controlled studies have been completed in pediatric patients. In a safety and pharmacokinetic study, 41 pediatric patients (1-11 years of age [n = 27], 12-16 years of age [n = 14], median age 8.1 years) were treated with Simulect via intravenous bolus injection in addition to standard immunosuppressive agents, including cyclosporine, USP (MODIFIED), corticosteroids, azathioprine, and mycophenolate mofetil. The acute rejection rate at 6 months was comparable to that in adults in the triple-therapy trials. The most frequently reported adverse events were hypertension, hypertrichosis, and rhinitis (49% each), urinary tract infections (46%), and fever (39%). Overall, the adverse event profile was consistent with general clinical experience in the pediatric renal transplantation population and with the profile in the controlled adult renal transplantation studies. The available pharmacokinetic data in children and adolescents are described in CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.

It is not known whether the immune response to vaccines, infection, and other antigenic stimuli administered or encountered during Simulect therapy is impaired or whether such response will remain impaired after Simulect therapy.

Geriatric Use

Controlled clinical studies of Simulect have included a small number of patients 65 years and older (Simulect 28; placebo 32). From the available data comparing Simulect and placebo-treated patients, the adverse event profile in patients ≥ 65 years of age is not different from patients < 65 years of age and no age-related dosing adjustment is required. Caution must be used in giving immunosuppressive drugs to elderly patients.


Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. The adverse reaction information from clinical trials does, however, provide a basis for identifying the adverse events that appear to be related to drug use and for approximating rates.

The incidence of adverse events for Simulect® (basiliximab) was determined in four randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials for the prevention of renal allograft rejection. Two of the studies (Study 1 and Study 2), used a dual maintenance immunosuppressive regimen comprised of cyclosporine, USP (MODIFIED) and corticosteroids, whereas the other two studies (Study 3 and Study 4) used a triple-immunosuppressive regimen comprised of cyclosporine, USP (MODIFIED), corticosteroids, and either azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil.

Simulect did not appear to add to the background of adverse events seen in organ transplantation patients as a consequence of their underlying disease and the concurrent administration of immunosuppressants and other medications. Adverse events were reported by 96% of the patients in the placebo-treated group and 96% of the patients in the Simulect-treated group. In the four placebo-controlled studies, the pattern of adverse events in 590 patients treated with the recommended dose of Simulect was similar to that in 594 patients treated with placebo. Simulect did not increase the incidence of serious adverse events observed compared with placebo.

The most frequently reported adverse events were gastrointestinal disorders, reported in 69% of Simulect-treated patients and 67% of placebo-treated patients.

The incidence and types of adverse events were similar in Simulect-treated and placebo-treated patients. The following adverse events occurred in ≥ 10% of Simulect-treated patients: Gastrointestinal System: constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dyspepsia; Body as a Whole-General: pain, peripheral edema, fever, viral infection; Metabolic and Nutritional: hyperkalemia, hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, hypercholesterolemia, hypophosphatemia, hyperuricemia; Urinary System: urinary tract infection; Respiratory System: dyspnea, upper respiratory tract infection; Skin and Appendages: surgical wound complications, acne; Cardiovascular Disorders-General: hypertension; Central and Peripheral Nervous System: headache, tremor; Psychiatric: insomnia; Red Blood Cell: anemia.

The following adverse events, not mentioned above, were reported with an incidence of ≥ 3% and < 10% in pooled analysis of patients treated with Simulect in the four controlled clinical trials, or in an analysis of the two dual-therapy trials: Body as a Whole-General: accidental trauma, asthenia, chest pain, increased drug level, infection, face edema, fatigue, dependent edema, generalized edema, leg edema, malaise, rigors, sepsis; Cardiovascular: abnormal heart sounds, aggravated hypertension, angina pectoris, cardiac failure, chest pain, hypotension; Endocrine: increased glucocorticoids; Gastrointestinal: enlarged abdomen, esophagitis, flatulence, gastrointestinal disorder, gastroenteritis, GI hemorrhage, gum hyperplasia, melena, moniliasis, ulcerative stomatitis; Heart Rate and Rhythm: arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, tachycardia; Metabolic and Nutritional: acidosis, dehydration, diabetes mellitus, fluid overload, hypercalcemia, hyperlipemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypocalcemia, hypoglycemia, hypomagnesemia, hypoproteinemia, weight increase; Musculoskeletal: arthralgia, arthropathy, back pain, bone fracture, cramps, hernia, myalgia, leg pain; Nervous System: dizziness, neuropathy, paraesthesia, hypoesthesia; Platelet and Bleeding: hematoma, hemorrhage, purpura, thrombocytopenia, thrombosis; Psychiatric: agitation, anxiety, depression; Red Blood Cell: polycythemia; Reproductive Disorders, Male: genital edema, impotence; Respiratory: bronchitis, bronchospasm, abnormal chest sounds, coughing, pharyngitis, pneumonia, pulmonary disorder, pulmonary edema, rhinitis, sinusitis; Skin and Appendages: cyst, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, hypertrichosis, pruritus, rash, skin disorder, skin ulceration; Urinary: albuminuria, bladder disorder, dysuria, frequent micturition, hematuria, increased non-protein nitrogen, oliguria, abnormal renal function, renal tubular necrosis, surgery, ureteral disorder, urinary retention; Vascular Disorders: vascular disorder; Vision Disorders: cataract, conjunctivitis, abnormal vision; White Blood Cell: leucopenia. Among these events, leucopenia and hypertriglyceridemia occurred more frequently in the two triple-therapy studies using azathioprine and mycophenolate mofetil than in the dual-therapy studies.

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