for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at Oakland, California and other locations
study started
estimated completion



This is a Phase 2, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter study to determine the efficacy and safety of luspatercept (ACE-536) versus placebo in adults with non-transfusion dependent beta (β)-thalassemia. The study is divided into the Screening Period, Double-blind Treatment Period (DBTP) and Post-Treatment Follow-up Period (PTFP). It is planned to randomize approximately 150 subjects at a 2:1 ratio of luspatercept versus placebo.

Official Title

A Phase 2, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Multicenter Study to Determine the Efficacy and Safety of Luspatercept (ACE-536) in Adults With Non-Transfusion Dependent Beta (B)-Thalassemia


The primary objective is: - To evaluate the effect of luspatercept in non-transfusion dependent β-thalassemia-patient versus placebo on anemia, as measured by mean hemoglobin concentration in the absence of transfusions over a continuous 12-week interval, from Week 13 to Week 24, compared to baseline. The secondary objectives are: - To evaluate the effect of luspatercept versus placebo on β-thalassemia related symptoms, as measured by non transfusion dependent β-thalassemia-patient reported outcome (NTDT-PRO) over a continuous 12-week intervals (from Weeks 13 to 24 and from Weeks 37 to 48) compared to baseline. - To evaluate the effect of luspatercept versus placebo on functional and health-related quality of life (QoL) as measured by Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form (SF-36) and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F) questionnaires - To evaluate the long-term effect of luspatercept versus placebo on anemia, as measured by mean hemoglobin concentration in the absence of transfusions over a continuous 12-week interval from Week 37 to Week 48, compared to baseline - To evaluate the effect of luspatercept versus placebo on iron overload, as measured by liver iron concentration (LIC) and iron chelation therapy (ICT) daily dose - To evaluate the effect of luspatercept versus placebo on iron overload, as measured by serum ferritin - To evaluate the duration of erythroid response - To evaluate the effect of luspatercept versus placebo on physical activity measured by 6-minute walk test (6MWT) Safety and Pharmacokinetics (PK) Objectives - To evaluate safety and tolerability of luspatercept, including immunogenicity - To evaluate population pharmacokinetics (PK) of luspatercept in subjects with β- thalassemia The exploratory objectives are: - To evaluate the effect of luspatercept versus placebo on measures of extra-medullary hematopoietic (EMH) masses, bone mineral density, splenomegaly, pulmonary hypertension, and leg ulcers, when present - To evaluate the effect of luspatercept versus placebo on the β-thalassemia severity as measured by the NTDT severity score system - To examine the relationship of baseline and change in serum Growth Differentiation Factor 11 (GDF11) and other related biomarkers with response to treatment with luspatercept - To examine the effect of luspatercept on fetal hemoglobin (HbF) - To examine the effect of luspatercept on Health Resource Utilization (HRU)


Thalassemia (β)-Thalassemia Beta-Thalassemia Phase 2 Luspatercept ACE-536 Safety Efficacy Placebo Red Blood Cell Transfusions Erythrocyte transfusion Hb increase NTDT Best Supportive Care (BSC)


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

Subjects must satisfy the following criteria to be enrolled in the study:

  1. Subjects must be ≥ 18 years of age at the time of signing the informed consent document (ICF).
  2. Subject must understand and voluntarily sign an ICF prior to any study-related assessments/procedures being conducted.
  3. Subject is willing and able to adhere to the study visit schedule (eg, not scheduled to receive hematopoietic stem cell transplantation) and other protocol requirements.
  4. Subject must have documented diagnosis of β-thalassemia or hemoglobin E/ β-thalassemia. Concomitant alpha globin mutation and/or duplication are allowed.
  5. Subject must be non-transfusion dependent, defined as 0 to 5 units of RBCs received during the 24-week period prior to randomization. Note: 1 unit defined for this entry criterion as approximately 200 to 350 mL of transfused packed RBCs.
  6. Subject must not be on a regular transfusion program and must be RBC transfusion-free for at least ≥ 8 weeks prior to randomization
  7. Subject must have mean baseline hemoglobin ≤ 10 g/dL, based on a minimum of 2 measurements ≥ 1 week apart within 4 weeks prior to randomization; hemoglobin values within 21 days post-transfusion will be excluded.
  8. Subject must have performance status: Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance score of 0 to 1.
  9. A female of childbearing potential (FCBP) for this study is defined as a female who:

1) has achieved menarche at some point, 2) has not undergone a hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy or 3) has not been naturally postmenopausal (amenorrhea following cancer therapy does not rule out childbearing potential) for at least 24 consecutive months (ie, has had menses at any time in the preceding 24 consecutive months). A FCBP participating in the study must:

  1. Have 2 negative pregnancy tests as verified by the Investigator prior to starting study therapy. She must agree to ongoing pregnancy testing during the course of the study, and after end of study treatment. This applies even if the subject practices true abstinence* from heterosexual contact.
  2. Either commit to true abstinence* from heterosexual contact (which must be reviewed on a monthly basis and source documented). If a FCBP engages in sexual activity that may result in a pregnancy, she must agree to use, and be able to comply during the study therapy (including dose interruptions), and for 12 weeks (approximately 5 times the mean terminal half-life of luspatercept based on multiple dose pharmacokinetics [PK] data) after discontinuation of study therapy.
  3. . Male subjects must:
  4. Practice true abstinence (which must be reviewed on a monthly basis) or agree to use a condom during sexual contact with a pregnant female or a female of childbearing potential while participating in the study, during dose interruptions and for at least 12 weeks (approximately 5 times the mean terminal half-life of luspatercept based on multiple-dose PK data) following IP discontinuation, even if he has undergone a successful vasectomy

You CAN'T join if...

The presence of any of the following will exclude a subject from enrollment:

  1. Any significant medical condition, laboratory abnormality, or psychiatric illness that would prevent the subject from participating in the study.
  2. Any condition including the presence of laboratory abnormalities, which places the subject at unacceptable risk if he/she were to participate in the study.
  3. Any condition that confounds the ability to interpret data from the study.
  4. Diagnosis of hemoglobin S/β-thalassemia or alpha (α)-thalassemia (eg,Hemoglobin H).
  5. Active hepatitis C (HCV) infection
  6. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or stroke requiring medical intervention ≤ 24 weeks prior to randomization.
  7. Subjects on chronic anticoagulant therapy are excluded, unless they stopped the treatment at least 28 days prior to randomization. Anticoagulant therapies for prophylaxis and for surgery or high-risk procedures as well as low molecular weight (LMW) heparin for superficial vein thrombosis (SVT) and chronic aspirin are allowed before and during the study.
  8. Treatment with another investigational drug or device ≤ 28 days prior to randomization.
  9. Prior exposure to sotatercept (ACE-011) or luspatercept (ACE-536).
  10. . Platelet count > 1000 x 109/L.
  11. . Subjects on iron chelation therapy (ICT) at the time of ICF signature must have initiated the treatment with ICT at least 24 weeks before the predicted randomization date. ICT can be initiated at any time during treatment and should be used according to the label.
  12. . Subject had Hydroxyurea and ESA treatment ≤ 24 weeks prior to randomization, and no prior gene therapy.
  13. . Subject is pregnant or a lactating female.
  14. . Uncontrolled hypertension. Controlled hypertension for this protocol is considered ≤ Grade 1 according to National Cancer Institute Common Terminology for Adverse Events (NCI CTCAE) version 4.0 (current active minor version).
  15. . Subject has major organ damage, including:
  16. Liver disease with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) > 3 x upper limit of normal (ULN) or history/evidence of cirrhosis, as well as presence of masses/tumor detected by ultrasound at screening.
  17. Heart disease, heart failure as classified by the New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification 3 or higher, or significant arrhythmia requiring treatment, or recent myocardial infarction (MI) within 6 months of randomization.
  18. Severe lung disease, including pulmonary fibrosis or pulmonary hypertension, ie, ≥G3 NCI CTCAE version 4.0 (current active minor version).
  19. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (per Modification of Diet in Renal Disease [MDRD] formula).
  20. . Subject has received chronic systemic glucocorticoids ≤ 12 weeks prior to randomization (physiologic replacement therapy for adrenal insufficiency is allowed).
  21. . Major surgery ≤ 12 weeks prior to randomization (subjects must have completely recovered from any previous surgery prior to randomization).
  22. . History of severe allergic or anaphylactic reactions or hypersensitivity to recombinant proteins or excipients in the investigational product (see Investigator Brochure).
  23. . Subject has received immunosuppressants ≤ 28 days prior to randomization.
  24. . History or current malignancies (solid tumors and hematological malignancies) unless the subject has been free of the disease (including completion of any active or adjuvant treatment for prior malignancy) for ≥ 5 years. However, subjects with the following history/concurrent conditions are allowed:
  25. Basal or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin
  26. Carcinoma in situ of the cervix
  27. Carcinoma in situ of the breast
  28. Incidental histologic finding of prostate cancer (T1a or T1b using the tumor, nodes, metastasis [TNM] clinical staging system)


  • Children's Hospital and Research Center at Oakland
    Oakland California 94609 United States
  • Children's Hospital of Los Angeles
    Los Angeles California 90027 United States


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Phase 2 Thalassemia Research Study
Study Type
At least 145 people participating
Last Updated