Safety and efficacy of lenabasum in a phase 2 randomized, placebo-controlled trial in adults with cystic fibrosis

for the Lenabasum JBT101-CF-001 Study Group, James F. Chmiel, Patrick Flume, Damian G. Downey, Allen J. Dozor, Carla Colombo, Henryk Mazurek, Ewa Sapiejka, Marta Rachel, Scott Constantine, Brian Conley, Nancy Dgetluck, Quinn Dinh, Barbara White, J. Stuart Elborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Few therapies specifically address the chronic airway inflammation in cystic fibrosis (CF) that contributes to progressive destruction of lung tissue and loss of lung function. Lenabasum is a cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CB2) agonist that resolves inflammation in a number of in vitro and in vivo models. Methods. A Phase 2 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study assessed the safety and tolerability of lenabasum in adults with CF. Subjects with FEV1% (ppFEV1) ≥40% predicted were randomized to lenabasum 1 or 5 mg or placebo once daily (QD) (Weeks 1–4), then 20 mg QD, 20 mg twice daily (BID) or placebo (Weeks 5–12), with follow-up at Week 16. Pulmonary exacerbations (PEx) were recorded and biomarkers of blood and lung inflammation were measured. Results. Of 89 subjects randomized, 51 lenabasum and 23 placebo-only subjects completed the study. No deaths or serious or severe adverse events (AE) were considered related to lenabasum. Most AEs were mild/moderate, and the most common were PEx, hemoptysis, dry mouth, and upper respiratory infection. Three lenabasum and one placebo-only subjects discontinued the study for a treatment related AE. New PEx were treated with intravenous antibiotics in 4.0% of lenabasum-treated vs. 11.4% of placebo-treated subjects, during Weeks 1–4 and 5.2% compared to 13.0% during Weeks 5–12 (p<0.2). No significant differences in ppFEV1 were observed between treatment groups. Sputum neutrophils, eosinophils, and neutrophil elastase were numerically reduced, and significant (p<0.05) reductions in IL-8 and immunoglobulin G levels occurred with lenabasum. Conclusions. The safety findings of lenabasum, coupled with biomarker data, support further testing in a larger study with a longer duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-85
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Lenabasum
  • Pulmonary exacerbations
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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