While there is no cure for lupus, early diagnosis and treatment can help in managing the symptoms and lessening the chance of permanent damage to organs or tissues. Because lupus is different for every person, treatments and medications are prescribed based on individual needs.
First New Treatment in 50 Years
2011 saw the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) historic approval of BENLYSTA® (belimumab) for systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), launching the first safe and effective treatment for lupus in more than half a century. BENLYSTA contains belimumab which is in a group of medicines called monoclonal antibodies. Lupus is a disease of the immune system (the body system that fights infection). People with active lupus often have high levels of a certain protein in their blood. BENLYSTA binds to and limits the activity of the protein. When given together with other medicines for lupus, BENLYSTA decreases lupus disease activity more than other lupus medicines alone.
Developed by Human Genome Sciences, BENLYSTA stems from the scientific discovery of a new immune system molecule, BLyS, which revealed a critical new pathway that can be manipulated to treat lupus. BENLYSTA is founded on novel, fundamental science from industry and academia that explores a range of disease pathways and mechanisms, much like the studies that the LRI has been supporting for a decade.
For mild cases of lupus, medicines may include over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines.For more severe lupus, or when internal organs are affected, stronger prescription drugs are prescribed to quiet the immune system and protect organs such as the kidneys, heart, and lungs from further attack.
The Hunt Continues for New Lupus Medicines
LRI researchers are intensively looking for new alternatives to the medicines that people with lupus now take. Learn more
Innovative research in human tissue may also drive discovery of new therapies. Learn more
Drug development in lupus is heating up, and many experts see cause for hope. Learn more
Every person with lupus who signs up for a clinical trial moves science one step closer to new treatments, and, eventually a cure. Learn more