Big Picture Data Bolsters Positive Outlook for Potential New Lupus Treatment Benlysta®

LRI hails an increasingly efficacious picture for possible first new medication for lupus in over 50 years

The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) and its National Coalition of lupus organizations are highly encouraged by the latest presentation of data from the BLISS-52 and BLISS-76 studies of Benlysta® for the treatment of systemic lupus at the European League Against Rheumatism Congress (EULAR) this week in Rome.

Researchers presenting at EULAR discussed how Benlysta plus standard therapy was more successful in reducing disease activity and severe flares, and improving quality of life and physical function, than standard care alone.

"The totality of the in-depth data reveals an increasingly sound outlook for this potential lupus drug, and clearly suggests that Benlysta is effective," said LRI President Margaret Dowd.

The data also provide reassuring information on the safety of the treatment.

"Benlysta appears to be a solid contribution to therapeutic agents for systemic lupus erythematosus," said Tammy Utset, MD at the University of Chicago. "Benlysta is promising as a safer, less toxic therapy to reduce lupus activity compared to many currently used immunosuppressive drugs."

Human Genomes Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline announced on June 10 that they had jointly filed for a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking approval to market Benlysta in the United States.

Daniel J. Wallace, MD at UCLA Medical Centers added, "The robust data presented at EULAR by Human Genome Sciences relating to their BLISS-52 and 76 studies along with their submission for approval from the FDA provide optimism that a safe and effective new alternative for lupus patients will be available soon."

"The LRI shares its excitement and hope with the entire lupus community that the five decades-long drought in new treatments for lupus will soon be over," said Dowd.