Baricitinib is in clinical development for adults with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). SLE is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Patients will often have periods where their symptoms flare-up and periods where their symptoms settle down. Mild SLE can cause joint problems and tiredness, whereas severe cases can be life threatening. Currently, conventional SLE treatments, such as corticosteroids and immunosuppressants, are known to have issues with efficacy and long-term toxicity.
Baricitinib is an inhibitor of Janus kinase (JAKs) enzymes that mediate the pathways involved in the inflammatory process in SLE and other inflammatory diseases. Baricitinib is taken orally and is currently licensed for the treatment of moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis in adult patients that have not responded well to other therapies. If licensed, baricitinib will offer an additional treatment option for adults with SLE.