It has just presented Benlysta® (Belimumab), an innovative drug for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which works directly attacking the human B lymphocyte stimulating protein (BLyS), one of the factors involved in the development of this chronic autoimmune disease, which affects mostly women (90% of cases), and usually manifests between 15 and 44 years of age. In the long run, this pathology causes limitations to the patient (around half of the patients stop working 15 years after the diagnosis), and it can generate numerous complications and even cause death.
Belimumab works directly attacking the human B Lymphocyte Stimulating (BLyS) protein, one of the factors involved in the development of this chronic autoimmune disease.
It is estimated that half a million people in Europe suffer from some type of lupus, a disease that currently has no cure, so that specialists aim to reduce the intensity of symptoms and prevent or reduce complications arising from both the illness as of its treatment. However, in some patients the treatment fails to control the condition, or suffer undesired effects as a result of the medication. Dr. Juan Jesús Gómez-Reino, head of the Rheumatology Unit of the University Clinical Hospital of Santiago de Compostela explains that between 15 and 20 percent of patients do not obtain benefits with standard medication and need to take other drugs indicated for various pathologies of autoimmune type.
Benlysta, which was approved by the European Medicines Agency in July of this year, it is the first drug that appears in more than 50 years destined to reduce the activity of SLE, especially in those patients who do not respond to other therapies. It can be administered as a support to standard treatment, and in clinical studies that have been carried out in more than 30 countries, with the collaboration of almost 1,700 patients, significant improvements in the response of patients who received this drug with the usual treatment, compared to the placebo group, with a tolerance to similar therapies in both cases.
Source: Human Genome Sciences