Kovalenko V.N.1, Golovach I.Yu.2, Bortkevych O.P. 3

Summary. Summary. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune rheumatic disorder, characterised by pathogenic antibodies produced by hyper-reactive B cells recognising self-antigens, which cause organ damage via immune complex formation, complement activation and direct effects on cells. Conventional drug treatment options range from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to immunosuppressive therapies. Understanding the disease pathogenesis has led to the use of targeted therapies, notably biological agents. New advances in the pathogenesis of SLE and the recent US Food and Drug Administration approval of belimumab, a B-cell therapy, mark a new era in the treatment of SLE. Other B-cell targeted therapies, such as rituximab and epratuzumab, are promising candidates that encourage further research into B-cell treatments. Interferon-alpha seems to play an important role in SLE. A recent trial of sifalimumab and rontalizumab, an anti-interferon-α monoclonal antibody, demonstrated improvements in clinical outcomes in patients with cutaneous disease. Other trials of biologics, such as tocilizumab and abatacept, possibly warrant further clinical studies. This article will focus on the biological therapies recently developed.

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