Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a long-term condition causing inflammation to the joints, skin and other organs. Symptoms presented are usually very general, including fever, joint pain and skin rash but can progress to the most severe, e.g. kidney failure. SLE typically has patterns of flare-ups where the condition gets worse for a period of time. The disease is likely to be caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors and most commonly affects middle-aged women and those of African-Caribbean ethnicity.
Treatment for SLE is currently aimed at controlling or easing the symptoms associated with the disease. Rigerimod is being developed for the treatment of SLE in combination with standard of care. It works by fighting the body’s dysfunctional immune system by controlling the activation of T-cells which attack the body’s own tissues. Rigerimod is given as an injection every 4 weeks and may be considered beneficial compared to current treatments as it is administered in smaller doses, less frequently and may have fewer side effects. Therefore if licensed it will be a potential additional treatment for SLE.
First line treatment options for SpA normally include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, however, these are only effective in approximately half of patients. Secukinumab (Cosentyx) is a new treatment option that acts by inhibiting the processes that leads to bone loss and inflammation, thereby reducing the symptoms of the disease. It is administered by injection under the skin (subcutaneous). If licenced, secukinumab could provide an additional treatment option for patients who are intolerant or do not respond adequately to NSAIDs.