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A double-blind randomised controlled investigation into the efficacy of Mirococept (APT070) for preventing ischaemia reperfusion injury in the kidney allograft (EMPIRIKAL): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Article number255
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jun 2017
Accepted/In press5 May 2017
E-pub ahead of print6 Jun 2017


King's Authors


Background: Delayed graft function (DGF) is traditionally defined as the requirement for dialysis during the first week after transplantation. DGF is a common complication of renal transplantation, and it negatively affects short- and long-term graft outcomes. Ischaemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is a prime contributor to the development of DGF. It is well established that complement system activation plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of IRI. Mirococept is a highly effective complement inhibitor that can be administered ex vivo to the donor kidney just before transplantation. Preclinical and clinical evidence suggests that Mirococept inhibits inflammatory responses that follow IRI. The EMPIRIKAL trial (REC 12/LO/1334) aims to evaluate the efficacy of Mirococept in reducing the incidence of DGF in cadaveric renal transplantation.

Methods/design: EMPIRIKAL is a multicentre double-blind randomised case-control trial designed to test the superiority of Mirococept in the prevention of DGF in cadaveric renal allografts, as compared to standard cold perfusion fluid (Soltran®). Patients will be randomised to Mirococept or placebo (Pbo) and will be enrolled in cohorts of N = 80 with a maximum number of 7 cohorts. The first cohort will be randomised to 10 mg of Mirococept or Pbo. After the completion of each cohort, an interim analysis will be carried out in order to evaluate the dose allocation for the next cohort (possible doses: 5–25 mg). Immunosuppression therapy, antibiotic and antiviral prophylaxis will be administered as per local centre protocols. The enrolment will take approximately 24 months, and patients will be followed for 12 months. The primary endpoint is DGF, defined as the requirement for dialysis during the first week after transplantation. Secondary endpoints include duration of DGF, functional DGF, renal function at 12 months, acute rejection episodes at 6 and 12 months, primary non-function and time of hospital stay on first admission and in the first year following transplant. Safety evaluation will include the monitoring of laboratory data and the recording of all adverse events.

Discussion: The EMPIRIKAL trial is the first study to evaluate the efficacy of an ex vivo administered complement inhibitor (Mirococept) in preventing DGF in cadaveric human renal transplantation. Mirococept has a unique ‘cytotopic’ property that permits its retention in the organ microvasculature.

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