Publications & Posters

Spebrutinib (Cc-292) Affects Markers of B Cell Activation, Chemotaxis, and Osteoclasts in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Results From a Mechanistic Study


Schafer PH, Kivitz AJ, Ma J, Korish S, Sutherland D, Li L, Azaryan A, Kosek J, Adams M, Capone L, Hur EM, Hough DR and Ringheim GE

Rheumatol Ther. 2019 Nov 13. 

doi: 10.1007/s40744-019-00182-7. 

This study was peformed using a Simoa® Homebrew assay.



Spebrutinib (CC-292) is an orally administered, covalent, small-molecule inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK), part of the B-cell and Fc receptor signaling pathways. This study evaluated spebrutinib pharmacology and mechanism of action over a 4-week treatment period in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Primary human B cells, T cells, natural killer cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, basophils, and osteoclasts were treated with spebrutinib in vitro. Clinical pharmacodynamics were studied in 47 patients with active RA on background methotrexate therapy randomized to oral spebrutinib 375 mg/day or placebo.


In vitro, spebrutinib inhibited B-cell proliferation more potently than T-cell proliferation and reduced both lymphoid and myeloid cytokine production and degranulation, as well as osteoclastogenesis. Clinical efficacy trended higher in spebrutinib-treated RA patients, with 41.7% (10/24) achieving ≥ 20% improvement in ACR response criteria (ACR20) versus 21.7% (5/23) of placebo patients at week 4 (P = 0.25). Treatment-emergent adverse events were comparable between treatment groups. In spebrutinib-treated patients, median BTK occupancy in peripheral blood was 83%, and significant increases in total CD19+ and mature-naive CD27-CD38-IgD+ B cells and decreases in transitional CD27-CD38+ B cells were observed. Spebrutinib significantly reduced serum chemokines chemokine ligand 13 (CXCL13), macrophage inflammatory protein-1β (MIP-1β), and the bone resorption biomarker carboxy-terminal collagen cross-linking telopeptide (CTX-I) (P < 0.05). Clinical response to spebrutinib was associated with lower increases in CD19+ B cells and greater decreases in CXCL13 and MIP-1β from baseline to week 4. High CD19+ B cells and low CTX-I at baseline were associated with better spebrutinib clinical response.


Spebrutinib inhibited various leukocyte responses in vitro, including those of B cells and osteoclasts. In this small study in RA patients, spebrutinib was well tolerated, showed a downward trend for symptoms, significantly modulated B-cell populations, and reduced markers of chemotaxis and osteoclast activity.