This study is being done to find out if a drug called Abatacept (Orencia ®) is safe and
effective in treating people with chronic urticaria (persistent hives).
Minimum age: 18 Years.
Maximum age: 70 Years.
- Chronic active urticaria defined as symptoms > 50% of days or 3 days/week for more
than 12 weeks
- Chronic therapy with stable doses of antihistamines for at least 4 weeks (patients
may be taking more than one antihistamine or be taking combinations of antihistamines
and leukotriene receptor antagonists) AND failure to respond to at least maximally
approved dosages of 2 different antihistamine therapies
- One of the following 3 conditions:
- Previous or ongoing requirement for corticosteroids for symptom control OR
- Prior steroid treatment with steroid discontinuation due to unacceptable
- Previous or current use (without symptom control or with unacceptable morbidity:
e. g., hypertension from cyclosporine, hemolysis from dapsone) of
immunomodulatory treatment for urticaria (e. g., hydroxychloroquine,
methotrexate, sulfasalazine, dapsone, cyclosporine, IVIg, mycophenolate,
- High baseline score for pruritis (at least 2 on a 3 point scale)
- No underlying etiology clearly defined for urticaria
- Patients should exhibit evidence of underlying autoimmunity of at least one of the
- elevated ESR, CRP, ANA
- extractable nuclear antigens
- Thyroid antibodies
- other autoantibodies (e. g., intrinsic factor, parietal cell, ovarian), *elevated
- clinical characteristics suggestive of systemic autoimmune disease but without
satisfying criteria for another diagnosis (e. g., arthralgias, myalgias,
arthritis, low grade fever, significant fatigue associated with outbreaks)
- family history of autoimmune disease including thyroid autoimmunity
- a biopsy showing perivascular lymphocytic or mixed cellular infiltrate without
- Concomitant use of hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate, or sulfasalazine WILL be
permitted if dose stable for at least 8 weeks
- Concomitant use of steroids (â‰¤ 15 mg/d Prednisone or equivalent) WILL be permitted if
stable for 4 weeks and patient agrees to continue dose for the first 90 days
- Negative pregnancy test (for women of child-bearing age)
- Men and women of reproductive potential must agree to use an acceptable birth control
during treatment and for 3 months after treatment
- No planned elective surgical procedures for at least 6 months from day#1
- Current use of other immunosuppressive medications (cyclosporine, tacrolimus,
sirolimus, IVIg, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine). Any such
medication will be discontinued for at least 4 weeks before study drug start.
- Concomitant treatment with corticosteroids (â‰¤ 15 mg/d), hydroxychloroquine,
methotrexate, and sulfasalazine will be permitted if doses are stable at least 8
- Treatment with an investigational agent within 4 weeks of screening or 5 half-lives
of the investigational drug (whichever is longer)
- Receipt of a live vaccine within 4 weeks of randomization
- Prior treatment with Abatacept (OrenciaÂ®)
- Previous treatment with Rituximab (MabTheraÂ®/RituxanÂ®), unless 6 months after
administration AND B cell reconstitution has occurred into normal range
- History of severe allergic or anaphylactic reactions to monoclonal antibodies or Fc
- History of significant laryngeal edema, tongue swelling, or airway compromise in the
setting of urticarial/angioedema episode (isolated perioral, lip, and periorbital
edema will not be exclusionary)
- Known history of HIV, Hepatitis B and/or Hepatitis C
- PPD testing as part of screening that is positive*
- HIV, Hepatitis B surface antigen or Core Antibody positive, or anti Hepatitis C
Antibody positive detected with screening
- History of recurrent significant infection, active bacterial, viral, fungal,
mycobacterial, or other infection excluding fungal infections of nail beds, or major
infection requiring hospitalization or treatment with IV antibiotics within 4 weeks
of screening or oral antibiotics within 2 wks of screening
- Known immunodeficiency, hypogammaglobulinemia, etc.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (meeting ACR criteria; patients with autoantibodies such
as ANA will NOT be excluded)
- Lack of peripheral venous access
- Drug, alcohol, or chemical abuse within 6 months
- Pregnancy or lactation and all women must be willing to practice contraception
through the study duration and for 3 months after discontinuing abatacept treatment.
- Sexually active women of childbearing potential must use an effective method of
birth control during the course of the study, in a manner such that risk of
failure is minimized.
- Prior to study enrollment, women of childbearing potential (WOCBP) will be
advised of the importance of avoiding pregnancy during trial participation and
the potential risk factors for an unintentional pregnancy.
- In addition, men enrolled on this study will be informed of the risks to any
sexual partner of childbearing potential and counseled to practice an effective
method of birth control.
- All WOCBP must have a negative urine pregnancy test within 7 days prior to first
receiving the investigational product.
- If the pregnancy test is positive, the subject will be excluded from the study.
- In addition, all WOCBP will be instructed to contact the Investigator
immediately if they suspect they might be pregnant (e. g., missed or late
menstrual period) at any time during study participation and the Investigator
will notify BMS within 24 hours of becoming aware of a confirmed pregnancy in a
subject participating in the study.
- Women must agree to practice adequate birth control for a minimum of 3 months
- Concomitant malignancies or previous malignancies within five years, with exception
of adequately treated basal or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin or carcinoma in
situ of cervix
- Atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, or autoimmune bullous skin disease (pemphigus,
- Significant cardiovascular disease (angina, arrhythmia, known coronary artery
disease, CVA, TIA, uncontrolled hypertension > 150/90)
- Significant pulmonary disease (asthma or COPD requiring current use of
corticosteroids, history ever of severe asthma or status asthmatics)
- Any other disease, metabolic dysfunction, physical examination finding, or clinical
laboratory finding giving reasonable suspicion of a disease or condition that
contraindicates an investigational drug or that may affect interpretation of the
results or render patient at high risk from treatment complications
- Plans or need to receive live viral vaccination over course of the study (e. g.,
- Inability to comply with study and follow-up procedures