BURLINGTON, Mass., April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that surveyed U.S. and European rheumatologists indicate that new therapies for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), that can positively differentiate themselves from current therapies in their effect on disease activity, would be well received by physicians and would be poised to benefit from strong uptake. Based on currently available clinical data and thought leader opinion, the emerging therapies epratuzumab (Immunomedics/UCB) and Lupuzor (ImmuPharma's forigerimod, P140, CEP-33457) have the potential to offer improvements over IV belimumab (Human Genome Sciences/GlaxoSmithKline's Benlysta) in reducing disease activity. Thought leaders perceive belimumab to offer only modest efficacy benefits in patients who are refractory to conventional immunosuppressants.
According to the DecisionBase 2013 report entitled Which Clinical Attributes Will Most Effectively Position Emerging Biologics Against IV Belimumab in the Moderate to Severe Patient Segment?, clinical data and thought leader opinion suggest that Anthera Pharmaceuticals' blisibimod also shows potential to more effectively reduce disease activity than IV belimumab in the severe SLE patient segment.
"Interviewed thought leaders consistently indicate a need for drugs with greater efficacy on disease activity, noting a variety of issues with currently available therapies," said Decision Resources Analyst Laura Croal, Ph.D. "In the case of newest approved agent, IV belimumab, the efficacy benefit in moderate to severe SLE is perceived to be modest and slow to onset."
The report also finds that physicians in the U.S. and Europe identify the need for new therapies with an improved effect on renal organ domain scores as a key unmet need. Therapies typically used for the treatment of moderate to severe renal manifestations (including the SLE-related condition of lupus nephritis) are associated with a risk of serious side effects. Interviewed thought leaders acknowledge that these therapies' overall risk-benefit profile is a limiting factor in their widespread use in patients with early and/or moderate signs of renal involvement.
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