New Analysis of Anifrolumab Affirms Drug’s Safety for Lupus Treatment
Update June 7, 2021: New Podcast
Listen to a new podcast with Professor Eric Morand and Dr. Raj Tummala from AstraZeneca about phase II and phase III trials of anifrolumab.
Adults with moderate to severe lupus exhibited a safe and favorable reaction when treated with AstraZeneca’s anifrolumab. The new safety analysis underscores the drug’s positive benefits and efficacy, improving disease activity, reducing flares and supporting lower glucocorticoid dosage.
Researchers reviewed pooled data from three studies of 925 people with moderate to severe lupus. The participants were either administered 300 mg. of anifrolumab intravenously (in the vein) or given a placebo (a harmless pill used in clinical trials for a comparison) monthly for 52 weeks.
Overall, the drug treatment was generally well tolerated. Those receiving anifrolumab experienced more reactions to the drug (86.9% vs. 79.4% placebo); however, the reactions were mild to moderate and included upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection and bronchitis. People receiving the drug saw fewer severe reactions (11.8% vs. 16.7% placebo) which included pneumonia. Although the drug was associated with an increased incidence (6.1%) of herpes zoster (the virus that causes shingles and chickenpox) and mild to moderate respiratory tract infections (4.8%), those receiving anifrolumab experienced less severe lupus outcomes.
Consult your physician before making changes to your medication and continue to follow the Lupus Foundation of America for updates on anifrolumab as it continues to be studied as a potential treatment for lupus. Learn more about treatments being studied for lupus.