“We need to target multiple pathways,” he said. “I think as complicated as rheumatoid arthritis is, there are probably many more pathways that are active in lupus. But the reality of it is, you need to get one drug before you can start studying combination biologics.”
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He said the field also needs better trial participation from patients. Patients must be proactive in helping to get safer and more efficacious drugs to market.
“Despite the complexities of studying lupus, I am optimistic about the future,” he said. “I think it’s just a matter of time. We will have many more medicines. We will have biomarkers. We will someday have individualized therapy, and we will no doubt have better outcomes for our patients with lupus.”
Thomas R. Collins is a freelance medical writer based in Florida.
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- Furie R, Petri M, Zamani O, et al. A phase III, randomized, placebo-controlled study of belimumab, a monoclonal antibody that inhibits B lymphocyte stimulator, in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum. 2011 Dec;63(12):3918–3930.
- Dooley MA, Jayne D, Ginzler EM, et al. Mycophenolate versus azathioprine as maintenance therapy for lupus nephritis. N Engl J Med. 2011 Nov 17;365(20):1886–1895.