EULAR Annual Congress
EULAR Annual Congress
July 12, 2016
1 min read

Anifrolumab confers greater rates of improvement in treatment of SLE

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Treatment of severe systemic lupus erythematosus with anifrolumab had greater rates of improvement in multiple organs compared with placebo, according to results presented at the EULAR Annual Congress.

Using the British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (BILAG) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index 2000 (SLEDAI-2K), researchers assessed changes from baseline in organs domain activity.

Results showed a greater percentage of patients treated with anifrolumab (AstraZeneca) showed improvement in mucocutaneous and musculoskeletal domains vs. patients receiving placebo. In most of the other less frequently active domains, including SLEDAI-2K cardiorespiratory, vascular, hematological and constitutional and BILAG cardiorespiratory and constitutional domains, researchers observed trends suggesting potential benefits.

“What was rather remarkable about this study is that a lot of different metrics were looked at. We looked at skin responses in those who had skin rash, we looked at joint responses in those who had arthritis, [and] whatever metric one looked at … we saw a rather robust response,” Richard Furie, MD, chief of the division of rheumatology at Northwell Health, told “It was not only robust data, but the data were consistent across all these metrics because sometimes you can hit on one metric and not on another.”

More patients in the anifrolumab group who had involvement in the SLEDAI-2K immunological domain at baseline had lower scores at day 365, which represented a normalization of anti-double-stranded-DNA and/or hypocomplementemia, according to results. However, researchers found an increase in the score representing the development of a new anti-double-stranded-DNA or hypocomplementemia in a slightly greater number of patients who had a normal anti-double-stranded-DNA or normal complements at baseline and were treated with 300 mg anifrolumab.

“… The difference between the placebo group and the treatment group was greater in interferon gene signature positive patients as opposed to interferon gene signature negative patients,” said Furie, who also is a professor of medicine at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. – by Casey Tingle


Merrill JT, et al. Abstract #THU0295. Presented at: EULAR Annual Congress; June 8-11, 2016; London.

Disclosure: Furie is a consultant and investigator for MedImmune and AstraZeneca. Please see the full abstract for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.