Safety and Efficacy of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone-Derivative EA-230 in Cardiac Surgery Patients: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study

Roger van Groenendael, Remi Beunders, Pleun Hemelaar, Jan Hofland, Wim J. Morshuis, Johannes G. van der Hoeven, Jelle Gerretsen, Gert Wensvoort, Emma J. Kooistra, Wout J. Claassen, Denise Waanders, Maud G. A. Lamberts, Leonie S. E. Buijsse, Matthijs Kox, Lucas T. van Eijk, Peter Pickkers

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OBJECTIVES: To determine the safety and efficacy of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone-derivative EA-230 in cardiac surgery patients. Cardiac surgery induces systemic inflammation and may impair renal function, affecting patient outcome. EA-230 exerted immunomodulatory and renoprotective effects in preclinical models and was safe and showed efficacy in phase I and II human studies. DESIGN: Double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized study. SETTING: Collaboration of the Cardiothoracic Surgery, Anesthesiology, and the Intensive Care departments of a tertiary hospital in the Netherlands. PATIENTS: One hundred eighty patients undergoing an on-pump coronary artery bypass procedure with or without concomitant valve surgery. INTERVENTIONS: Ninety mg/kg/hr EA-230 or placebo administered during surgery. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: During the study, no safety concerns emerged. EA-230 did not modulate interleukin-6 plasma concentrations (area under the curve 2,730 pg/mL × hr [1,968-3,760] vs 2,680 pg/mL × hr [2,090-3,570] for EA-230 and placebo group, respectively; p = 0.80). Glomerular filtration rate increased following surgery (mean ± sem increase in the EA-230 vs placebo groups: glomerular filtration rateiohexolmeasured using iohexol plasma clearance: 19 ± 2 vs 16 ± 2 mL/min/1.73 m2; p = 0.13 and estimated glomerular filtration rate with the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation using creatinine: 6 ± 1 vs 2 ± 1 mL/min/1.73 m2; p = 0.01). The "injury" stage of the Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss of kidney function, and End-stage kidney disease criteria for acute kidney injury was 7% in the EA-230 group versus 18% in the placebo group (p = 0.07). In addition, EA-230-treated patients had a less positive fluid balance compared with placebo-treated patients (217 ± 108 vs 605 ± 103 mL; p = 0.01), while the use of vasoactive agents was similar in both groups (p = 0.39). Finally, hospital length of stay was shorter in EA-230 treated patients (8 d [7-11] vs 10 d [8-12]; p = 0.001). Efficacy results were more pronounced in patients that had longer duration of surgery and thus longer duration of study drug infusion. CONCLUSIONS: EA-230 was safe in patients undergoing on-pump cardiac surgery. It did not modulate interleukin-6 plasma concentrations but appeared to exert beneficial renal and cardiovascular effects and shortened in-hospital length of stay.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)790-803
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Early online date2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


  • EA-230
  • acute kidney
  • cardiac surgery
  • immunomodulation
  • injury
  • safety
  • systemic inflammation

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