Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), also known as lupus, is a serious, life-changing chronic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by SLE can affect many different body systems, including the skin, joints, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. It often leads to irreversible damage of organ functions. SLE is often characterized by episodes known as flares, when signs and symptoms worsen, and remissions, when the symptoms of the disease improve again or even disappear. However the disease can also be consistently active. The currently available medications for SLE often only generate partial improvement. They are frequently associated with significant side effects and can lose their effectiveness over time.
UCB has been investing in developing solutions for lupus for several years and 2020 brought several developments in this area. In March 2020, UCB and its partner Biogen included the first patients into the Phase 3 program with a new drug, dapirolizumab pegol, in patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) despite standard-of-care treatment. First headline results are expected in 2024.
- 1 https://www.ucb.com/disease-areas/Lupus