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, 11 (2), 195-204

Belimumab for the Treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


Belimumab for the Treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Natasha Jordan et al. Expert Rev Clin Immunol.


Given their pivotal role in autoantibody production, B-cells have become an attractive therapeutic target in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Belimumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody against B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS), a B-cell survival factor, was licensed in 2011 for the treatment of autoantibody-positive SLE. The BLISS-52 and BLISS-76 Phase III trials successfully demonstrated that belimumab (10 mg/kg) with standard therapy significantly decreased disease activity in SLE patients compared to placebo with standard therapy. Overall, belimumab has been found to be safe and well tolerated. While the BLISS-52 and BLISS-76 studies are the largest clinical trials in SLE to date, they mainly focused on musculoskeletal, mucocutaneous, hematologic and general constitutional features of the disease. Patients with severe lupus nephritis and severe central nervous system disease were excluded from these trials. Studies of belimumab in lupus nephritis are ongoing that may clarify the role of this agent in the clinical management of SLE.

Keywords: BAFF; BLyS; Belimumab; monoclonal antibody; systemic lupus erythematosus.

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