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for people ages 18–65 (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
estimated completion:



The purpose of this study is see if a combination of two drugs, (ATG and rituximab), given at the time of the transplant surgery, will help reduce or eliminate the need for long term immunosuppressive medication.

Official Title

Immunosuppression With Antithymocyte Globulin, Rituximab, Tacrolimus, Mycophenilate Mofetil and Sirolimus, Followed by Withdrawal of Immunosuppression, in Living-donor Renal Transplant Recipients


Kidneys remove excess fluid and waste from the blood. When kidneys lose their filtering ability, dangerous levels of fluid and waste accumulate in the body — a condition known as kidney failure. There are two ways to treat kidney failure. One way is to get dialysis indefinitely. The second way is to get a kidney transplant. A kidney transplant is often the best treatment for kidney failure. A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy kidney from a donor into a person whose kidneys no longer function properly. This study is for people who will receive a kidney transplant from a very well matched, living blood relative. The immune system is the body's defense system against illness. After transplant, the immune system will think that the new kidney is a foreign invader and will try to attack or reject the transplanted kidney. Immunosuppressive drugs protect the transplanted kidney by suppressing the immune system. People who have kidney transplants must take immunosuppressive drug for the rest of their lives. If they stop, their immune system may reject the transplanted kidney. Immunosuppressive drugs make it hard for the body to fight off infections. In addition, they can cause high blood pressure, kidney damage, plaque build-up in the blood vessels, high cholesterol, diabetes and bone disease. They may also make the body more likely to get some types of cancer (mainly cancer of the white blood cells and/or skin) and other serious side effects.

Because of the side effects of immunosuppressive drugs, an important goal of transplant research is to allow people to accept their transplanted organ without always having to take immunosuppressive drugs. This is called tolerance. The RESTARRT study is testing a combination of two medications, rituximab and anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG), to see if they can help people reduce or eliminate the need for life-long immunosuppressive medications. ATG has been used for over 10 years to treat transplant rejection; rituximab is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and two types of cancer. ATG works on immune cells called 'T cells' that are involved in transplant rejection, while rituximab works on a different type of cell called 'B cells.' Researchers hope that targeting both these cell types at the same time will help reset the immune system so that it accepts the transplanted kidney.

Frequent visits are required during the first two months of the study. Then, study visits take place about every 4 weeks, but more often (every 2 weeks) when reducing medication doses. After two years, participants will be asked to return for check-ups every 3 months. Study visits may include consultations with the transplant doctors, physical exam, blood and/or urine samples and kidney biopsies at several times during the study. In all, participation could last up to 4 years. All study-related medications and tests are provided at no charge to the patient.


Acute Kidney Injury Kidney transplantation Immunosuppression Graft rejection Graft loss Renal transplant Transplantation kidney disease Renal disease Organ transplant Living donor transplant Living-donor Rituximab Sirolimus Everolimus Tacrolimus Mycophenolate mofetil Antilymphocyte Serum


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18–65

  • Recipient of a first renal allograft from a single haplotype matched or greater living related donor who is no older than 65, or a second degree relative with an HLA antigen type that is consistent with a single haplotype match with the recipient.
  • Demonstration of absence of anti-HLA antibodies using solid phase micro particle technology (by Luminex® phenotype panel or Luminex single antigen bead test) performed 7 days or less prior to the first dose of rituximab, as assessed by local laboratories.No evidence of anti-HLA antibodies in current or past sera.Negative T‐and B‐cell crossmatch as determined by flow cytometric assay measured 7 days or less prior to the first dose of rituximab,.
  • Single‐organ recipients (kidney only).
  • Serologic evidence of prior exposure to Epstein‐Barr virus (EBV).
  • For women of childbearing potential: a negative serum or urine pregnancy test with sensitivity less than 50 mIU/m within 72 hours before the start of study medication.
  • Use of FDA‐approved methods of contraception (those with less than a 5% failure rate)by all participants from the time that study treatment begins until 104 weeks (24 months) after renal transplantation.
  • Ability to receive oral medication.
  • Ability to understand and provide informed consent.

You CAN'T join if...

  • Recipient of a kidney from a donor who is older than 65 years.
  • History of cancer within the last 5 years, except for nonmelanoma skin cell cancers cured by local resection and cervical carcinoma in situ.
  • Women who are breastfeeding.
  • Uncontrolled hyperlipidemia (total serum cholesterol more than 300 mg/dL and/or triglycerides more than 400 mg/dL).
  • Platelet count less than 100,000/μL at study entry.
  • Seropositivity for HIV‐1, hepatitis C virus (confirmed by HCV PCR), hepatitis B surface antigen, or hepatitis B core antibody (confirmed by HBV PCR).
  • Active tuberculosis (TB) within the previous 3 years regardless of treatment history for TB. Participants with a known positive purified protein derivative (PPD) or positive Quantiferon assay will not be eligible for the study unless they have completed treatment for latent TB and have a negative chest x‐ray at the time of enrollment. PPD testing or Quantiferon testing done within 52 weeks before transplant is acceptable as long as there is documentation of the results. Prior recipients of a Bacille Calmette‐Guérin vaccination (BCG) are not exempt.
  • Underlying renal disease with a high risk of disease recurrence in the transplanted kidney, including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, types I or II membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, and hemolytic‐uremic syndrome/thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.
  • The presence of any medical condition that the investigator deems incompatible with participation in the trial.
  • Known sensitivity to antithymocyte globulin, rituximab, tacrolimus, sirolimus, MMF, or corticosteroids.
  • Current use of systemic corticosteroids or antibody‐based therapies (e.g., infliximab,adalimumab, or etanercept).
  • Use of any investigational drug within 30 days of transplantation.
  • Receipt of a live vaccine within 3 months of enrollment.


  • University of Wisconsin
    Madison, Wisconsin, 53792, United States
  • University of Maryland Medical Center
    Baltimore, Maryland, 21201, United States
  • Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104, United States
  • Rogosin Institute/New York Presbyterian-Cornell
    New York, New York, 10021, United States
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
    Boston, Massachusetts, 02114, United States


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Immune Tolerance Network (ITN)
Phase 1
Lead Scientist
Andrew Posselt
Study Type
Last Updated
February 2016