Investigational Drug, Rituximab Biosimilar BCD020, Shows Promise for Treatment of Pediatric Lupus Nephritis
A recent study found rituximab biosimilar (a biologic medication that is highly similar to the original biologic that is already approved) BCD020 showed effectiveness in treating pediatric lupus nephritis (LN, lupus-related kidney disease). All participants experienced improvements in LN with minimal side effects compared to standard therapy.
Researchers analyzed 25 children (10 boys and 15 girls) with LN, with an onset age between 9 and 16 years old. The study participants did not respond to conventional non-biologic treatments and/or developed signs of corticosteroidtoxicity. Each child was evaluated before and after treatment with the biologic BCD020, where researchers looked at clinical and laboratory data, disease activity and medication treatment doses. BCD020 was prescribed intravenously every week (2 – 4 infusions) and repeated every six to 12 months depending on disease activity.
The study highlights:
- Improvement of LN was achieved in all participants
- Remission of LN was achieved in 28% of the group
- No significant flares were experienced by participants during the study
- There was rapid and highly effective control of LN and a significant reduction in treatment doses of corticosteroids without disease progression
- Improvement of kidney function with reductions in proteinuria and hematuria (blood in urine)
- There was a decrease in lupus disease activity markers in participants
Pediatric LN is one of the most serious manifestations of lupus, and there currently are no standard treatments. BCD020 was highly effective and demonstrated efficacy and safety in participants who did not respond well to other treatments, though further studies are required. Learn more about childhood lupus.
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