Belimumab is in clinical development for the treatment of adults with active lupus nephritis (LN) who are uncontrolled on current standard of care. LN is a complication affecting kidney function brought on by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory disease that affects different organs. Around a third of people suffering with SLE will develop LN. The kidney damage seen in LN occurs due to a person’s immune cells (B Cells) attacking their own kidneys which causes inflammation and affects overall kidney function. Current treatment involves suppression of the immune system and management of symptoms, but it is not always effective. If left untreated, LN can lead to kidney failure which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Belimumab is a monoclonal antibody which binds to a soluble B cell survival factor known as BLyS, thereby stopping the growth and activity of B cells. It is given by intravenous infusion and is intended to be added on to current standard of care therapies. Belimumab is currently approved as an add-on therapy for adult patients with SLE in the EU/UK and if licensed for LN, will offer a new targeted therapy that is able to treat patients who cannot tolerate the side effects related to the current standard of care.
BCX7353 is an oral treatment that works by blocking the activity the specific pathway that becomes overactive in patients with angioedema. By blocking this pathway, BCX7353 is expected to reduce the number of angioedema attacks. Early studies of BCX7353 has shown that it helped to prevent swelling and inflammation in HAE. In addition, BCX7353 has the distinct advantage over current treatment of being administered orally, making it easier to use for routine prevention of HAE attacks.