Benlysta Found to Effectively Change B-cell Levels
In a new study, researchers looked at whether treatments targeting B-cell activating factor (BAFF) have an impact on human B-cells, as previous studies have suggested. B-cells are responsible for creating antibodies, including autoantibodies, and are thought to play a role in the development and progression of autoimmune diseases. More specifically, B-cell activating factor (BAFF) is a protein that promotes B-cell growth and antibody production. People with lupus have higher than normal levels of BAFF, which likely contributes to the disease.
Researchers compared B-cell levels in blood samples from people with lupus on standard-of-care therapy (SCT) to people with lupus on belimumab (Benlysta), a drug that blocks BAFF activity, and healthy people. They found those with lupus who were treated with belimumab had altered levels of certain B-cell sub-types, just as previous research findings have predicted.
This study is significant for two reasons. First, it offers further evidence that Benlysta effectively impacts B-cell production by depleting BAFF, supporting the efficacy of the treatment. Secondly, a novel approach to test the treatment’s effectiveness was adapted from past study types, opening the door for new approaches to Benlysta research.
Learn more about Benlysta, the only medication currently approved for the treatment of lupus which was recently approved for use in children.