AZ, GSK See Positive Results in Lupus Trials

November 17, 2015

Two British pharmaceutical giants saw positive results in studies of their respective lupus candidates, a rare show of progress for the underfunded condition with few care options and even fewer innovations.

AstraZeneca’s anifrolumab, which has been given fast track status by the FDA, reduced disease activity and boosted drug response in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), improving symptoms such as rashes and arthritis, the company says.

Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline’s Benlysta (belimumab) — the only new lupus drug approved in the last five decades — was successful in a late-stage trial of its subcutaneous formulation.

Benlysta, originally approved in 2011 to treat SLE, also yielded further promise in the latest batch of GSK trials, the drugmaker says.

Both AZ and GSK presented their data at the American College of Rheumatology/Association for Rheumatology Health Professionals Annual Meeting.