What Attributes of Emerging Therapies Will Most Influence Both Physicians’ and Payers’ Decisions to Effectively Position These Biologics Against IV Belimumab?
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease affecting multiple organ systems, manifesting at various levels of severity, and involving periods of remission and relapse. In 2011, IV belimumab (GlaxoSmithKline’s Benlysta) became the first drug approved for SLE in more than 50 years, highlighting the difficulty in successfully bringing to market agents to treat this multifactorial disease. Despite high level of unmet needs in SLE, belimumab has seen slow uptake owing to a combination of factors including high price, modest efficacy, low response rate, and slow onset of action. Several biological therapies are in late-stage development for SLE, but based on the most recently reported trial data, significant opportunity remains for drugs that reliably reduce disease activity and corticosteroid use.