Background: Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) is an immune-mediated peripheral neuropathy that is currently classified into several clinical subtypes, which are presumed to have different pathogenic mechanisms. Recently, studies identified a subgroup of patients with CIDP who were positive for IgG4 autoantibodies against paranodal proteins, such as neurofascin-155 and contactin-1, who respond poorly to first-line therapies for typical CIDP, including intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of intravenous rituximab according to IgG4 autoantibody status in patients with refractory CIDP. Methods: The Evaluation of the Efficacy and Safety of Rituximab in Refractory CIDP Patients with IgG4 Autoantibodies in the Exploratory Clinical (RECIPE) trial consists of 2 cohorts: a multicenter, placebo-controlled, randomized study cohort of 15 patients with IgG4 autoantibody-positive CIDP (rituximab:placebo = 2:1) and an open-label trial cohort of 10 patients with antibody-negative CIDP. The primary endpoint is improvement in functional outcome assessed using the adjusted Inflammatory Neuropathy Cause and Treatment Disability Scale score at 26, 38, or 52 weeks after the start of treatment with rituximab in patients with CIDP and anti-paranodal protein antibodies. Secondary outcome measures include grip strength, manual muscle testing sum scores, results of nerve conduction studies, and other functional scales. Results: We plan to enroll 25 cases for the full analysis set. Recruitment is ongoing, with 14 patients enrolled as of January 2020. Enrollment will close in September 2020, and the study is planned to end in December 2021. Conclusions: This randomized controlled trial will determine if rituximab is safe and effective in patients with anti-paranodal antibodies. An open-label study will provide additional data on the effects of rituximab in patients with antibody-negative CIDP. The results of the RECIPE trial are expected to provide evidence for the positioning of rituximab as a pathogenesis-based therapeutic for refractory CIDP.
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