Efficacy Study of Canakinumab to Treat Urticaria (URTICANA)

University of Zurich (UZH) logo

University of Zurich (UZH)

Status and phase

Phase 2


Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria


Drug: Placebo
Drug: Canakinumab

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


Evaluation whether canakinumab leads to improvement of urticaria

Full description

Single center prospective placebo-controlled cross-over phase II study. To assess if canakinumab can induce clinical improvement and/or complete clinical remission of chronic idiopathic urticaria at week 4 as compared to placebo To compare canakinumab and placebo treated patients in the percentage who achieve complete clinical remission at week 1, 2, 4, and 8. To compare the percentage with clinical improvement as measured by UAS7 score at week 1, 2, 4, and 8 in canakinumab and placebo treated patients To compare the percentage of canakinumab and placebo treated patients with 75% and 100% improvement of their baseline (Run-in-period) UAS7 score at week 1,2,4,and 8 To compare the daily wheal score for Days 1 to 7 in canakinumab and placebo treated patients


20 estimated patients




18 to 70 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

Inclusion criteria

Diagnosis of chronic idiopathic urticaria for more than 6 weeks as confirmed by clinical and, if necessary, histological examination

CIU of moderate to severe severity defined by all of the following

  • Physician severity score of 2 or 3 (on a scale from 0 - 3)
  • Run-in period of the diary-based UAS7 score of > 21 (on a scale from 0 - 42)
  • Symptomatic despite use of non-sedating antihistamine with or without concomitant leukotriene antagonist/corticosteroids
  • Use of maintenance non-sedating antihistamine at a stable dose for at least 1 week prior to entering run-in period
  • Maintenance corticosteroids at a dose of <20 mg/day or <0.4 mg/kg stable for at least the week prior to study entry for treatment of the patient's CIU will be allowed.
  • Age: > 18 years.
  • Signed informed consent
  • Negative or unreactive QuantiFERON test (QFT-TB G In-Tube) or history of adequate treatment of active or latent tuberculosis.

Exclusion criteria:

  • Age < 18 or > 70 years
  • History of cancer except for treated basal cell carcinoma of the skin
  • With active or recurrent bacterial, fungal or viral infection at the time of enrollment, including patients with evidence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C infection, active or untreated latent tuberculosis.

Patients currently treated with systemic immunosuppressive agents or following treatments in the specified period before the baseline visit:

  • corticosteroids =20 mg/day or >0.4 mg/kg for 1 week prior to study entry;
  • leukotriene antagonists for 1 week prior to study entry
  • colchicine, dapsone or mycophenolate mofetil for 3 weeks;
  • etanercept, leflunomide (documentation of a completion of a full cholestyramine elimination treatment after most recent leflunomide use will be required), thalidomide or ciclosporin for 4 weeks;
  • adalimumab or intravenous immunoglobulin for 8 weeks;
  • infliximab, 6-mercaptopurine, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide or chlorambucil for 12 weeks
  • Live vaccinations within 3 months prior to the start of the trial, during the trial, and up to 3 months following the last dose
  • Contraindications to the class of drugs under study, e.g. known hypersensitivity or allergy to class of drugs or the investigational product,
  • Pregnant or lactating women, patients (men or women) planning a pregnancy during the duration of the study, lack of safe contraception.

Safe contraception is defined as follows:

  • Double-barrier contraception such as oral, injectable, or implantable contraceptives, or intrauterine contraceptive devices together with condom use.
  • Both men and women must use safe contraception (double-barrier as defined above) during the duration of the study and until 6 months after the study.
  • Please note that female subjects who are surgically sterilized/hysterectomized or post-menopausal for longer than 2 years are not considered as being of child bearing potential.
  • Inability to follow the procedures of the study, e.g. due to language problems, psychological disorders, dementia, etc. of the subject.
  • Participation in another study with investigational drug within the 30 days preceding and during the present study.
  • Previous enrolment into the current study.
  • Enrolment of the investigator, his/her family members, employees and other dependent persons.

Trial design

20 participants in 2 patient groups, including a placebo group

Experimental group
Monoclonal antibody inhibiting interleukin 1 beta
Drug: Canakinumab
Placebo Comparator group
Constituent, inactive
Drug: Placebo

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Alexander Navarini, MD PhD; Antonios Kolios, MD

Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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