Iguratimod Shows Promise as Potential Therapy for People with Refractory Lupus Nephritis
The drug treatment, Iguratimod, showed to be safe and potentially effective in people with refractory lupus nephritis (LN), in which people do not respond to first-line immunosuppressive drugs or quickly relapse after remission. Among study participants with refractory LN, the therapy resulted in an encouraging 92.3% response rate at week 24 of treatment.
Iguratimod, a new immunomodulatory drug, is approved for treatment in Northeast Asia. Researchers administered the drug to a small group of 14 people with refractory LN and closely monitored. At week 24 of treatment, 12 people experienced renal response, meaning their kidneys began to respond favorably to treatment. Complete renal response was achieved by 38.5% or five people, and partial response by 53.8% or seven people in the study.
During the treatment, most adverse events were mild, with one person developing severe anemia after 12 weeks of treatment. Impaired liver function has been the most common adverse outcome of the drug during clinical trials and post-market surveillance. The therapy has shown to suppress autoreactive B cells and inflammation, suggesting that the drug may be an effective treatment for LN.
The researchers believe further studies are warranted to verify efficacy of the drug in LN treatment as well as other manifestations of lupus. Continue to follow the Lupus Foundation of America for updates on Iguratimod and learn about lupus in the kidney.