“We are pretty excited by that data,” says Dr. Huizinga. “The sooner you have a primary flare, the longer you are damaging your kidney.”
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According to Dr. Huizinga, some rheumatologists consider this ability to treat patients quickly to be a revolution. “You don’t have to wait 52 or 104 weeks to get to remission,” says Dr. Huizinga. “That should, hopefully, keep patients’ kidneys from getting further damaged.”
Moreover, because the FDA indication for voclosporin is for active lupus nephritis and not a specified level of proteinuria, rheumatologists can use their clinical insights to prescribe it. “The FDA has given clinicians some flexibility in using [the treatment],” says Dr. Huizinga.
Dr. Huizinga underscores the benefits of accomplishing remission without therapeutic drug monitoring. “The rheumatologist office is crowded and busy, and the last thing you want to do is complicate your life by looking at extra labs,” says Dr. Huizinga. For all these reasons, Dr. Huizinga says researchers are starting to see rheumatologists prescribing voclosporin. “It makes sense immunologically, and it also makes sense clinically,” he concludes.
Lara C. Pullen, PhD, is a medical writer based in the Chicago area.
- Rovin BH, Onno Teng YK, Ginzler EM, et al. Efficacy and safety of voclosporin versus placebo for lupus nephritis (AURORA 1): a double-blind, randomised, multicentre, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. Lancet. 2021. 397(10289):2070–2080.
- Rovin BH, Solomons N, Pendergraft WF, et al. A randomized, controlled double-blind study comparing the efficacy and safety of dose-ranging voclosporin with placebo in achieving remission in patients with active lupus nephritis. Kidney Int. 2019 Jan;95(1):219–231.
- Saxena A, P Mina-Osorio p, C Mela, and V Birardi. Voclosporin for lupus nephritis: Interim analysis of the AURORA 2 extension study [POS0681]. EULAR Virtual Congress. 2021 Jun 2–5.