How effective is belimumab?

A 69.4% of patients had an excellent response, achieving clinical remission, 16.6% of patients improved with belimumab treatment without complete remission, and lack of response, i.e., disease flares or new disease manifestations during treatment, was observed in 13.9% of patients and led to drug discontinuation.

What does belimumab do to the body?

Belimumab, which is also known by the trade name Benlysta, is a type of drug called a biological therapy. In lupus, the immune system produces harmful antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues. Belimumab works by reducing the activity of a type of white blood cell called B-cells that produce the antibodies.

Is benlysta an immunosuppressant?

Belimumab (Benlysta”, Glaxo-SmithKline) is an immunosuppressant monoclonal antibody that inhibits B cell differentiation into antibody-producing plasma cells.

What happens when you stop Benlysta?

In the event of a serious hypersensitivity reaction, discontinue Benlysta immediately and administer appropriate medical therapy. Infusion-associated adverse events were also reported. Serious infusion reactions included bradycardia, myalgia, headache, rash, urticaria, and hypotension.

When did belimumab get approved for the treatment of SLE?

Under the trade name Benlysta, belimumab received FDA approval for the treatment of SLE on March 9, 2011, despite concerns among advisory committee members that the improvement of 4 points on the SELENA-SLEDA scale was marginal, and despite reservations about additional deaths in the treatment group.

Are there any side effects to taking belimumab?

In December 2020 belimumab was approved by the FDA as a treatment for lupus nephritis in combination with standard treatment. Common adverse effects reported with belimumab include nausea, diarrhea, and fever, as well as hypersensitivity and infusion-site reactions, which were severe in 0.9% of patients.

How much does a year of belimumab treatment cost?

Based on the number needed to treat, approximately eleven patients must be treated for one to benefit. At a typical U.S. academic center, the total cost for the first year of treatment with belimumab is $28,000.

Why was belimumab used in rheumatoid arthritis trials?

Defenders said that in addition to its modest efficiency, belimumab allowed patients to significantly reduce their use of corticosteroids. Belimumab was not effective in Phase II clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis. It was moderately effective in Phase II trials for Sjögren syndrome.