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. Forigerimod 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. Forigerimod 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.
Ixekizumab is an engineered antibody designed to bind and obstruct the pro-inflammatory interleukin-17A (IL-17A) signalling molecule. It has been suggested that IL-17 may be a crucial mediator of inflammation in the pathway that leads to the development and progression of axial spondyloarthritis. By blocking this pathway, ixekizumab may help prevent joint inflammation, bone erosion, and bone fusion in a patient population where few alternative therapies exist in instances of previous treatment failure.