Efficacy of epratuzumab, an anti‐CD22 monoclonal igG antibody, in systemic lupus erythematosus patients with associated Sjögren's syndrome: post‐hoc analyses from the EMBODY trials

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Jacques-Eric Gottenberg
  • Thomas Dörner
  • Hendrika Bootsma
  • Valérie Devauchelle‐Pensec
  • Simon J. Bowman
  • Xavier Mariette
  • Holger Bartz
  • Marga Oortgiesen
  • Anthony Shock
  • Willem Koetse
  • Catrinel Galateanu
  • Sabine Bongardt
  • William A. Wegener
  • David M. Goldenberg
  • Guy Meno‐Tetang
  • Gordana Kosutic

Colleges, School and Institutes


Objective: EMBODY 1 (NCT01262365) and EMBODY 2 (NCT01261793) investigated the efficacy and safety of epratuzumab, a CD22‐targeted humanized monoclonal IgG1 antibody, in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The studies showed no significant difference from placebo in primary or secondary clinical outcome measures, but did demonstrate B‐cell‐specific immunological activity.

Methods: Efficacy and safety of epratuzumab were compared between two patient subpopulations randomized in EMBODY 1 & 2: SLE patients with a diagnosis of associated Sjögren's syndrome (aSjS) and without aSjS (non‐aSjS patients). BILAG total score, BICLA clinical response to treatment, biological markers (including B cells, IgG, IgM, and IgA), and safety were assessed.

Results: 1584 patients were randomized in EMBODY 1 and EMBODY 2; 113 patients were anti‐SS‐A positive, and had a diagnosis of aSjS, and 1375 patients (86.8%) had no diagnosis of aSjS (918 patients were randomized to epratuzumab and 457 to placebo). For aSjS, but not non‐aSjS patients, a higher proportion of epratuzumab patients achieved a BICLA response and a reduction from baseline in BILAG total score. B‐cell reduction was faster in aSjS patients. The sensitivity of B cells to epratuzumab as measured by mean concentration producing 50% of the maximum B‐cell count depletion was lower for aSjS patients (9.47 μg/ml) vs the EMBODY total population (87.1 μg/ml). No difference in the frequency of adverse events from placebo was reported.

Conclusion: Patients with SLE and aSjS treated with epratuzumab showed improvements in SLE disease activity, which was associated with bioactivity, such as decreases in B cells and IgM.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-773
Number of pages11
JournalArthritis and Rheumatology
Issue number5
Early online date30 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018