ImmunoSep (Personalised Immunotherapy in Sepsis) international double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled randomised clinical trial: study protocol

Antigone Kotsaki, Peter Pickkers, Michael Bauer, Thierry Calandra, Mihaela Lupse, W. Joost Wiersinga, Sylvain Meylan, Frank Bloos, Tom van der Poll, Marleen A. Slim, Niels van Mourik, Marcella C. A. Müller, Lonneke van Vught, Alexander P. J. Vlaar, Aline de Nooijer, Lieke Bakkerus, Sebastian Weis, Nikolaos Antonakos, Mihai G. Netea, Evangelos J. Giamarellos-Bourboulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Sepsis is a major cause of death among hospitalised patients. Accumulating evidence suggests that immune response during sepsis cascade lies within a spectrum of dysregulated host responses. On the one side of the spectrum there are patients whose response is characterised by fulminant hyperinflammation or macrophage activation-like syndrome (MALS), and on the other side patients whose immune response is characterised by immunoparalysis. A sizeable group of patients are situated between the two extremes. Recognising immune endotype is very important in order to choose the appropriate immunotherapeutic approach for each patient resulting in the best chance to improve the outcome.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: ImmunoSep is a randomised placebo-controlled phase 2 clinical trial with a double-dummy design in which the effect of precision immunotherapy on sepsis phenotypes with MALS and immunoparalysis is studied. Patients are stratified using biomarkers. Specifically, 280 patients will be 1:1 randomly assigned to placebo or active immunotherapy as adjunct to standard-of-care treatment. In the active immunotherapy arm, patients with MALS will receive anakinra (recombinant interleukin-1 receptor antagonist) intravenously, and patients with immunoparalysis will receive subcutaneous recombinant human interferon-gamma. Τhe primary endpoint is the comparative decrease of the mean total Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score by at least 1.4 points by day 9 from randomisation.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The protocol is approved by the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices; the National Ethics Committee of Greece and by the National Organization for Medicines of Greece; the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects and METC Oost Netherland for the Netherlands; the National Agency for Medicine and Medical Products of Romania; and the Commission Cantonale d'éthique de la recherche sur l'être human of Switzerland. The results will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e067251
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2022


  • Adult intensive & critical care

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