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Open Access Minireview

Advances in drug therapy for systemic lupus erythematosus

Daniel J Wallace

Author Affiliations

Division of Rheumatology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 8737 Beverly Blvd, Suite 302, West Hollywood, CA 90048, USA

BMC Medicine 2010, 8:77  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-77

Published: 29 November 2010


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder that afflicts 500,000 people in the United States. There has not been a new SLE drug approved in the United States since 1958. However, a guidance document issued by the Food and Drug Administration in 2005 provided a roadmap for investigators which spawned numerous ongoing clinical trials. Among these, Belimumab, a monoclonal antibody to soluble B lymphocyte stimulator, met its primary endpoints in two large trials and will probably obtain FDA approval soon. Other promising agents targeting a variety of mechanisms of action are currently in development. This minireview highlights the latest therapies under investigation in SLE and gives an overview of the pathways that are specifically being targeted.