The trial is taking place at:

Southern California Research Center | Coronado, CA

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A Long-Term Study of Elafibranor in Adult Participants With Primary Biliary Cholangitis (ELFIDENCE)

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Status and phase

Phase 3


Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC)


Drug: Elafibranor
Other: Matched 80 mg placebo

Study type


Funder types



2023-505251-43-00 (Other Identifier)

Details and patient eligibility


The participants of this study will have confirmed Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC).

Participants will also have inadequate response or intolerance to ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) a drug used to treat PBC.

PBC is a disease that progresses slowly. It causes damage to the bile ducts in the liver, leading to a build-up of bile acids which causes further damage.

The liver damage in PBC may lead to scarring (cirrhosis). PBC may also be associated with multiple symptoms. Many people with PBC may require liver transplant or may die if the disease progresses and a liver transplant is not done.

This study will compare a daily dose of elafibranor (the study drug) to a daily dose of placebo (a dummy treatment). Each participant will be in the study up to about 7 years.

The main aim of this study is to determine if elafibranor is better than placebo in preventing clinical outcome events showing disease worsening (including progression of disease leading to liver transplant or death).

This study will also study the safety of long-term treatment with elafibranor, as well as the impact on symptoms such as itching and tiredness.


450 estimated patients




18+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

Inclusion Criteria :

  • Male or female participants must be ≥18 years of age at the time of signing the informed consent.
  • Participants with a definite or probable diagnosis of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC)
  • Participants taking ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) for at least 12 months (at a stable dose for ≥3 months) prior to screening period and expected to remain on stable dose during the study, or unable to tolerate UDCA treatment (no UDCA for ≥3 months) prior to screening period (per country standard-of-care dosing).
  • Participants taking medications for management of pruritus (e.g. cholestyramine, rifampin, naltrexone, sertraline or colchicine) must be on a stable dose for ≥3 months prior to screening period.
  • Contraceptive use by men or women should be consistent with local regulations regarding the methods of contraception for those participating in clinical studies.
  • Capable of giving signed informed consent which includes compliance with the requirements and restrictions listed in the informed consent form (ICF) and in this protocol.

Exclusion Criteria :

  • History or presence of other concomitant liver disease including but not limited to: i) Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). ii) Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) by simplified Diagnostic Criteria of the International Autoimmune Hepatitis Group (IAIHG) ≥6, or if treated for an overlap of PBC with AIH, or if there is clinical suspicion and evidence of overlap AIH features, that cannot be explained alone by insufficient response to UDCA. iii) Positive hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Participants with negative HBsAg and positive hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb) may be eligible if hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid (HBV DNA) is negative. iv) Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection defined by positive anti-HCV antibody and positive HCV ribonucleic acid (RNA) (Note: Participants with positive anti-HCV antibody due to previously treated HCV infection, may be enrolled if a confirmatory HCV RNA is undetectable and sustained viral response has been documented). v) Alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD). vi) Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). vii) Other chronic liver diseases, such as alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

  • History or presence of clinically significant hepatic decompensation, including: i) History of liver transplantation, current placement on a liver transplant list, current model for end-stage liver disease including serum sodium (MELD)-Na score ≥12 due to hepatic impairment (MELD-Na will be calculated only when MELD >11). ii) Evidence of complications of cirrhosis, including hepatic decompensation or evidence of significant portal hypertension complications including presence of uncontrolled ascites; history of variceal bleeding or related interventions (e.g. variceal banding, or transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt placement); presence of hepatic encephalopathy Grade 2 or higher per West-Haven criteria; history or presence of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. Note: participants with low-risk varices (Grade I) without history of bleeding or other treatment may be eligible to enrol. iii) Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) (type I or II).

  • Known history of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or having a positive confirmatory test for HIV type 1 or 2.

  • Medical conditions that may cause non-hepatic increases in ALP (e.g. Paget's disease).

  • Evidence of any other unstable or untreated clinically significant immunological, endocrine, hematologic, gastrointestinal, neurological, or psychiatric disease as evaluated by the investigator; other clinically significant conditions that are not well controlled.

  • Non-hepatic medical conditions that may diminish life expectancy to <2 years, including known cancers.

  • History of hepatocellular carcinoma.

  • Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) >20 ng/mL with 4-phase liver computerised tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) imaging suggesting presence of hepatocellular carcinoma.

  • Known malignancy or history of malignancy within the last 5 years, with the exception of local, successfully treated basal cell carcinoma or in-situ carcinoma of the uterine cervix.

  • Administration of the following medications is prohibited during the study, and prior to the study as per the timelines specified below: i) 3 months prior to screening period: fibrates, seladelpar, glitazones, obeticholic acid, azathioprine, cyclosporine, methotrexate, mycophenolate, pentoxifylline, budesonide and other systemic corticosteroids (parenteral and oral chronic administration only); potentially hepatotoxic drugs (including α-methyl-dopa, sodium valproic acid, isoniazid or nitrofurantoin).

  • Participants with previous exposure to elafibranor.

  • Participants who are currently participating in, plan to participate in, or have participated in an investigational drug study or medical device study containing active substance within 30 days or 5 half-lives, whichever is longer, prior to the screening period.

    i) If the previous study was for an experimental therapy being studied for potential benefit in PBC, and the potential therapeutic agent was proven to have no beneficial effect in PBC and there are no safety concerns, the participant may enrol after 30 days or 5 half-lives from the last dose of the therapeutic agent, whichever is longer. ii) For therapeutic agents being studied for potential benefit in PBC for which it is still unclear if there may be a potential benefit, participants may enrol after 6 months from the last dose of the therapeutic agent.

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) with QT interval corrected by Fridericia's formula (QTcF) >450 msec in males or QTcF >470 msec in females for participants without bundle branch block. For participants with bundle branch block or other intraventricular conduction delay, a longer QTcF >480 msec would be exclusionary.

  • Total bilirubin (TB) >3x ULN. Participants with Gilbert's syndrome are eligible with a total bilirubin above 3× ULN if direct bilirubin is <30% of total bilirubin.

  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and/or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) >5x ULN at SV1, or variability >40% based on two consecutive values. The interval between the two measurements should be of at least 2 weeks (and up to 4 weeks):

  • Creatinine phosphokinase (CPK) >2x ULN.

  • Platelet count <75,000/μL

  • International normalised ratio (INR) >1.5 in the absence of anticoagulant therapy.

  • Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <45 mL/min/1.73m2 per the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD)-6 Study formula at SV1.

  • Significant renal disease, including nephritic syndrome, chronic kidney disease (CKD) (defined as participants with evidence of significantly impaired kidney function or underlying kidney injury).

  • For female participants: known current pregnancy, or has a positive serum pregnancy test, or is breastfeeding.

  • Regular alcohol intake in excess of the recommended limit of 1 standard drink per day for men or women.

  • History of alcohol abuse, or other substance abuse within 1 year prior to SV1.

  • A positive drug screen at screening would be exclusionary unless it can be explained by a prescribed medication. Use of cannabidiol (CBD) or other cannabinoids is not exclusionary for this study.

  • Known hypersensitivity to elafibranor or to any of the excipients of the investigational product(s).

  • Mental instability or incompetence, such that the validity of informed consent or ability to be compliant with the study is uncertain.

  • Any other condition that, in the opinion of the investigator, would interfere with study participation or completion, or would put the participant at risk, including a potential participant assessed as being at high risk of noncompliance with the study.

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Triple Blind

450 participants in 2 patient groups, including a placebo group

Elafibranor 80 mg
Experimental group
Participants will take 1 tablet of elafibranor 80 mg per day orally before breakfast with a glass of water at approximately the same time each morning.
Drug: Elafibranor
Placebo Comparator group
Participants will take 1 placebo tablet per day orally (matching the 80 mg elafibranor sized tablet) before breakfast with a glass of water at approximately the same time each morning.
Other: Matched 80 mg placebo

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Ipsen Clinical Study Enquiries

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