Developmental drugs for sarcoidosis

J Autoimmun. 2024 Mar 28:103179. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2024.103179. Online ahead of print.


Sarcoidosis is a multi-organ granulomatous inflammatory disease of unknown etiology. Over 50% of patients will require treatment at some point in their disease and 10%-30% will develop a chronic progressive disease with pulmonary fibrosis leading to significant morbidity and mortality. Recently published guidelines recommend immunosuppressive therapy for sarcoidosis patients at risk of increased disease-related morbidity and mortality, and in whom disease has negatively impacted quality of life. Prednisone the currently recommended first line therapy is associated with significant toxicity however none of the other guideline recommended steroid sparing therapy is approved by regulatory agencies for use in sarcoidosis, and data in support of their use is weak. For patients with severe refractory disease requiring prolonged therapy, treatment options are limited. The need for expanding treatment options in sarcoidosis has been emphasized. Well conducted large, randomized trials evaluating currently available therapeutic options as well as novel pathways for targeting disease are necessary to better guide treatment decisions. These trials will not be without significant challenges. Sarcoidosis is a rare disease with heterogenous presentation and variable progression and clinical outcome. There are no universally agreed upon biomarkers of disease activity and measurement of outcomes is confounded by the need to balance patient centric measures and objective measures of disease activity. Our paper provides an update on developmental drugs in sarcoidosis and outlines several novel pathways that may be targeted for future drug development. Currently available trials are highlighted and ongoing challenges to drug development and clinical trial design are briefly discussed.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory therapy; Clinical trials; Efzofitimod; Health-related quality of life (HRQoL); Multi-organ; Multi-system; Novel therapies; Sarcoidosis; Therapeutic pathways.