DOI: 10.1007/s13311-017-0553-8 Pages: 1-17
Article Type: Review

Daclizumab: Development, Clinical Trials, and Practical Aspects of Use in Multiple Sclerosis

1. University of Utah, Division of Neuroimmunology, Department of Neurology

Correspondence to:
John W. Rose



Daclizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody directed towards CD25, the alpha subunit of the high-affinity interleukin (IL)-2 receptor. Daclizumab exerts its effects via multiple mechanisms, including reduction of IL-2-mediated lymphocyte activation and upregulation of CD56–bright natural killer cells. Intravenous daclizumab (Zenapax™) was initially approved for prevention of rejection in renal transplant. In subsequent early testing, followed by larger-scale phase II and phase III trials, both intravenous and subcutaneous daclizumab have demonstrated clinical efficacy in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The subcutaneous daclizumab prepared by high-yield process was utilized in the advanced phase II and phase III trials (SELECT and DECIDE). High-yield process daclizumab is now approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, and is now formally termed daclizumab beta (DAC-beta; Zinbryta™). In this review, the early development of anti-IL-2 receptor alpha monoclonal antibodies and the properties of IL-2 and its receptor are discussed, and diverse mechanisms of action for daclizumab are presented. Results of the CHOICE, SELECT, and DECIDE clinical trials are discussed in detail. Adverse events observed in clinical trials included cutaneous reactions, liver enzyme elevations, infections, and autoimmune phenomena. DAC-beta is a monthly, patient-administered subcutaneous injection that requires enrollment in a safety monitoring (REMS) program for monthly liver function testing. Prescribers should be aware of the potential adverse events, as early recognition and management is important, particularly in cutaneous and hepatic reactions. Continued clinical experience with DAC-beta, including observations from the REMS program, will define its place in the armamentarium of immunotherapeutics for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

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  • Online: Jul 13, 2017

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