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.
Mexiletine is under registration in Europe for the symptomatic treatment of myotonic disorders. It is administered as an oral capsule and it exerts its action by reducing the rate of contraction in the heart and other muscles. Currently it is used unlicensed in the UK, meaning that it is not currently approved but some healthcare providers consider it to be potentially beneficial based on research or professional experience. There are currently no licensed treatment options available to treat symptoms of myotonia, therefore, if licensed, mexiletine will offer access to an approved treatment option.