lupus It is an inconspicuous autoimmune disease that affects 82,0003 people in Spain, 90% of whom are women, mainly between 15 and 55 years of age, although it also affects men and children. Early diagnosis implies early management of the pathology, which helps to stop potential damage in kidneys, heart, lungs or brain. However, there are barriers when it comes to diagnosing lupus due to the heterogeneity of its manifestations and the complexity of the disease, since each patient often experiences different symptoms.
The pathology manifests itself differently in each patient, which makes early diagnosis very difficult. “For this reason, it is essential to continue researching and making SLE known in order to promote early diagnosis and adequate treatment of the disease, in order to continue advancing in improving the approach to this pathology. In this context, with the arrival of this new treatment, the therapeutic arsenal available for patients with SLE is expanded, which allows us to improve their quality of life”, explains the Dr. Andrés González, internist at the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital.
The drug targets the type I interferon pathway, which plays one of the central roles in the pathophysiology of lupus and it is an important therapeutic target, since its blockade is associated with a decrease in the activity of the Lupus disease.
“Most adults with moderate to severe SLE have increased type I interferon receptor signaling, which is associated with increased disease activity and severity. Anifrolumab acts against this increase, so being able to offer this drug to patients will help us control the disease,” says the Dr. José María Álvaro-Gracia, Head of the Rheumatology Service of the Gregorio Marañón General University Hospital.
Patients with SLE are exposed to flare-ups, that is, a measurable increase in disease activity in one or several organs, involving new or worse clinical signs and symptoms. The drug allows to reduce the activity of the pathology while reducing the use of oral corticosteroids, to reduce the risk of organ damage and improve the quality of life of patients.
“In AstraZeneca We are driven by innovation and our commitment to making a difference in patients’ lives, which is why we are very proud to bring to you this drug, the first new biologic therapy in more than a decade for SLE, to
patients with a moderate to severe degree of disease activity”, says Marta Moreno, director of corporate affairs and market access at AstraZeneca Spain.
“Our mission as company is challenging the limits of science to provide medicines that change lives and with this therapy we consolidate our presence in the area of immunology and reaffirm our commitment to SLE patients”.
The approval of this treatment is based on the results of its clinical development program, including the phase III TULIP trials and the phase II MUSE trial. In these trials, a greater number of patients treated with this drug experienced a reduction in overall disease activity in the affected organ systems and achieved a sustained reduction in the use of oral corticosteroids (OC) compared to those treated with placebo. Minimizing the use of oral corticosteroids while reducing pathology activity reduces the risk of organ damage.