The Role of Biologics in Treating Lupus

The Role of Biologics in Treating Lupus

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease involving multiple immune cells that affects several organs. The condition runs an unpredictable course and presents itself in various clinical manifestations making it challenging to manage.

Advances in treatment, including corticosteroids and conventional immunosuppressive drugs, have improved the life expectancy of SLE sufferers. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these traditional treatment options are limited, and their use is associated with a risk of toxicity which can contribute to organ deterioration and other complications.

The limited effectiveness and toxicity risk led to the development of biologic therapies. Biologics have a more selective mode of action that targets the immunological agents relevant to SLE and offer fewer adverse effects.

Watch the Video: The Role of Biologics in Treating Lupus

What Are Biologics

Unlike conventional drugs, which use synthesized chemicals, biologics derive from genetically engineered proteins that mimic the body’s natural proteins. Laboratories use live microorganisms, human or animal cells, and tissue to produce these proteins.

The genetically engineered proteins in biologics target specific areas of the immune system known to cause inflammation. Thanks to this characteristic, biologics allow for better, more personalized treatment with fewer side effects.

The role of biologics is to disrupt the inflammatory pathways caused by overactive T cells and B cells in lupus patients.

The Role of Biologics in Treating Lupus

Biologics Used to Treat Lupus

In recent years we’ve witnessed an increased interest in lupus by many biomedical and pharmaceutical companies. This interest provides a realistic sense of hope that better, more targeted treatment options will become available in the near future.

Presently, only a few biologic drugs have received FDA approval for treating lupus.

BENLYSTA (belimumab)

The FDA approved BENLYSTA for treating active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) active lupus nephritis in adults and children.

BENLYSTA is a human monoclonal antibody that explicitly recognizes and blocks the biological activity of B-lymphocyte stimulators, also known as BLyS®.

Elevated levels of B-lymphocyte stimulators are known to prolong the survival of B cells contributing to the production of autoantibodies. In clinical studies, BENLYSTA was effective in reducing autoantibody levels and helping control autoimmune disease activity.

SAPHNELO (anifrolumab-fnia)

SAPHNELO is the first FDA-approved lupus treatment in over a decade. It treats moderate to severe SLE in adults receiving other lupus medications.

This biologic works by blocking IFB-1 (type 1 interferon) activity, which impacts both parts of the immune system and is a central driver of lupus disease.

SAPHNELO effectively reduced disease activity in clinical trials, with patients experiencing fewer symptom flare-ups. Additionally, SAPHNELO significantly reduces the need for oral steroid use, and patients reported symptom improvement within weeks after their first treatment.

Offering Biologic Infusion Therapy

Expanding your existing services to include biologic infusion therapy can significantly improve patient treatment compliance and outcomes.

Take advantage of our vast experience in setting up and managing in-office infusion suites and start directly offering biologic therapy to your patients.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how we can help you expand your practice and improve customer satisfaction and treatment compliance.

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