n. 13, July 2020

Dear colleagues,

This is the thirteenth newsletter of the Immunonephrology Working Group (IWG). In these extraordinary times, we would like to give you an update on recent developments in the field of Immunonephrology. The COVID-19 epidemic has had major impact on our personal and professional lives.

The impact of the crisis and insight in how this virus is spreading and how it affects patients with renal diseases has been changing by the day. We have tried to update you through the website of ERA-EDTA (COVID-19 news) and have published some general recommendations (available here). In addition, all major medical, nephrological and immunological journals have created special sections and give scientific updates on COVID-19.

In this newsletter we will inform you on major publications in the area of Immunonephrology, including updates from the first virtual ERA-EDTA meeting held on June 6-9, 2020 and which was accessible to all congress members from home.

Wishing you all the best for the coming summer, we hope you stay safe and healthy.

With kind regards

Vladimir Tesar, Chairman
Marten Segelmark, Vice Chair

Cees van Kooten, newsletter editor
IWG board
News from the IWG board

We would like to remind you the open Call for candidacies to become an Immunonephrology Working Group (IWG) Board Member. In 2020 the Board composition must be partially renewed and 2 new members will be elected.

The deadline to apply is July 31, 2020. No candidatures sent after this date will be accepted;

furthermore, candidatures not fulfilling all the above mentioned requirements, as per the Working Groups regulations, will not be taken into consideration.

Before applying, please read the Working Groups regulations carefully and consider that to be eligible for the Board a member must have been an ordinary member of the WG for at least 2 years (or from its creation) or have a proven track record of relevant scientific expertise that would justify his/her being part of the Board; ERA-EDTA Full members (exceptions to this last rule can only be made for non-nephrologists) in particular women and young members, are encouraged to actively participate in the election.

All information and forms are available here.
News from the ERA-EDTA congress

The first analysis has shown that the virtual ERA-EDTA congress held in June 2020 was well attended (click here for more details). The programme provided access to a broad range of presentations, including several results on important trials for patients with lupus nephritis or ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV).

BLISS-LN was presented by Brad Rovin (Columbus, Ohio). This phase 3 placebo-controlled trial investigated Belimumab, an inhibitor of the B cell growth factor BAFF, in combination with standard therapy in patient with active lupus nephritis. Each arm consisted of 233 patients and primary endpoints were at 52 and 104 weeks. Treatment with Belimumab resulted in significantly better renal responses, a reduction in the development of renal related events and Belimumab treatment stabilized the eGFR from week 52 onwards.

AURORA was presented by Dawn Caster (Louisville, Kentucky). This phase 3 study investigated voclosporin, a calcineurin inhibitor, on top of standard of care, in patients with lupus nephritis. The study reached the primary end point with an improved renal response, without changes in the safety profile.

ADVOCATE was presented by David Jayne (Cambridge, UK). This phase 3 trial compared the C5aR antagonist Avacopan with Prednisone in patients with new or relapsing AAV, receiving a background therapy of either CYC/AZA or RTX. Each arm included 160 patients, who were followed for 52 weeks. At this time point, Avacopan treatment was significantly superior over Prednisone in sustaining remission. Also secondary endpoints of improved eGFR and reduced risk for relapse were reached, with a significantly reduced burden of the corticosteroids.

RITAZAREM was presented by Rona Smith (Cambridge, UK). This study has compared RTX versus AZA as maintenance therapy in patients with relapsing AAV. The fixed interval – repeated dose of RTX showed a significantly improved relapse free survival with no major safety signals. This study, published recently (Smith et al (2020) Ann Rheum Dis), raises the question on potential utility of B cell immune monitoring to adjust timing of RTX treatment.
What’s new in the field?

Click here to read updates from recent publications.

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