Systemic Lupus Erythematosus | Unmet Need | Lupus Nephritis | US/EU | 2019


Renal inflammation associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), also known as lupus nephritis (LN), is among the most serious manifestations of the disease. Presently, no therapies are specifically approved for LN, and the off-label drugs used to treat SLE and LN are largely old and generically available, owing to the difficulty of developing novel treatments for this complex disease. In 2011, GlaxoSmithKline’s Benlysta (IV) became the first drug to win approval for SLE in 60 years, but it is not labeled for patients with active LN and is not typically used in these patients. Thus, unmet need remains high in this indication, leaving significant commercial opportunity for novel LN therapies.


  • What are the treatment drivers and goals for lupus nephritis?
  • What drug attributes are key influences, which have limited impact, and which are hidden opportunities?
  • How do current therapies perform on key treatment drivers and goals for lupus nephritis?
  • What are the prevailing areas of unmet need and opportunity in lupus nephritis?
  • What trade-offs across different clinical attributes and price are acceptable to U.S. and European physicians for a hypothetical new lupus nephritis drug?


Provides quantitative insight into U.S. and European physician perceptions of key treatment drivers and goals and the current level of unmet need for a specific disease. Commercial opportunities are analyzed, and the extent to which emerging therapies may capitalize on these opportunities is evaluated.

Markets covered: United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany.

Primary research: Survey of 30 U.S. rheumatologists, 30 U.S. nephrologists, and 30 European rheumatologists fielded in March 2019.

Key companies:  Astellas Pharma, Aurinia pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca (MedImmune), Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche.

Key drugs: Azathioprine, Benlysta (belimumab) [IV], CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil), cyclophosphamide (IV), hydroxychloroquine, Orelvo (voclosporin), Rituxan/MabThera (rituximab), tacrolimus.

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