Belimumab in Break Through Treatment of SLE

Systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease having far reaching consequences; including financial, somatic and emotional problems. The treatments now available, can keep it suppressed for a long period, but the quality of life does not remain same after the diagnosis.
Prednisolone, a steroid and immuno-suppressants are the mainstays of treatment options available now. This drugs though promising and having some shortfalls, still path breaking in the treatment of SLE. Newer hope arise in the treatment of this ugly disease.
clipped from

EULAR: Modest Long-Term Benefits for Lupus Drug

ROME — Final results from the closely watched BLISS-76 trial of belimumab (Benlysta) for systemic lupus erythematosus suggested the drug was better than placebo but not by much, it was reported here.
In the first scientific presentation of 76-week data from the phase III study, Ronald van Vollenhoven, MD, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said about 39% of patients on the investigational drug achieved a response according to the primary outcome measure, compared with 32.4% of those treated with placebo.

Another significant advantage for belimumab was in the percentage of patients able to reduce steroid doses to 7.5 mg/day (prednisone equivalent) or less: 25.8% and 27.7% for the low and high doses, compared with 17.5% of the placebo group (P<0.05).

Nearly all patients in the study experienced some type of adverse event. Severe events were recorded in about 20% of patients, spread equally among the treatment arms.

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