Background: Pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus are potentially life-threatening autoimmune disorders triggered by IgG autoantibodies against mucosal and epidermal desmogleins. There is an unmet need for fast-acting drugs that enable patients to achieve early sustained remission with reduced corticosteroid reliance. Objectives: To investigate efgartigimod, an engineered Fc fragment that inhibits the activity of the neonatal Fc receptor, thereby reducing serum IgG levels, for treating pemphigus. Methods: Thirty-four patients with mild-to-moderate pemphigus vulgaris or foliaceus were enrolled in an open-label phase II adaptive trial. In sequential cohorts, efgartigimod was dosed at 10 or 25 mg kg−1 intravenously with various dosing frequencies, as monotherapy or as add-on therapy to low-dose oral prednisone. Safety endpoints comprised the primary outcome. The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier NCT03334058). Results: Adverse events were mostly mild and were reported by 16 of 19 (84%) patients receiving efgartigimod 10 mg kg−1 and 13 of 15 (87%) patients receiving 25 mg kg−1, with similar adverse event profiles between dose groups. A major decrease in serum total IgG and anti-desmoglein autoantibodies was observed and correlated with improved Pemphigus Disease Area Index scores. Efgartigimod, as monotherapy or combined with prednisone, demonstrated early disease control in 28 of 31 (90%) patients after a median of 17 days. Optimized, prolonged treatment with efgartigimod in combination with a median dose of prednisone 0·26 mg kg−1 per day (range 0·06–0·48) led to complete clinical remission in 14 of 22 (64%) patients within 2–41 weeks. Conclusions: Efgartigimod was well tolerated and exhibited an early effect on disease activity and outcome parameters, providing support for further evaluation as a therapy for pemphigus.

ZeitschriftBritish Journal of Dermatology
Seiten (von - bis)429-439
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 03.2022

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Infektion und Entzündung - Zentrum für Infektions- und Entzündungsforschung Lübeck (ZIEL)
  • Zentren: Center for Research on Inflammation of the Skin (CRIS)


  • 204-05 Immunologie
  • 205-19 Dermatologie
  • 205-22 Klinische Immunologie und Allergologie