Lupus nephritis is inflammation of the kidney that is caused by systemic lupus erythematous (SLE). With lupus, the body's immune system targets its own body tissues. Lupus nephritis happens when lupus involves the kidneys. An immunosuppressive medication, such as cyclophosphamide or mycophenolate mofetil, is typically used with prednisone. A preliminary analysis of the safety data did not reveal any new or unexpected safety signals in patients receiving Rituxan
Nine patients died, of whom four had serious infections or septicaemia, and three developed end-stage renal failure (ESRF). The patient survival rate at 3 years and at last follow-up visit was 88% and 83.3%, respectively, whereas the renal survival rates (without ESRF) were 92% and 94.4% respectively. Cox regression analysis showed no relation of gender, age of onset, presence of hypertension, haematuria and proteinuria, estimated glomerular filtration rate, renal histology and response to therapy to the outcome of death or ESRF.
Lupus nephritis is treated with medications that suppress the immune system, so it stops attacking and damaging the kidneys. Standard treatment includes a corticosteroid, usually prednisone, to reduce inflammation in the kidneys.These medications—when taken as prescribed by a health care provider—further decrease the activity of the immune system and block the body’s immune cells from attacking the kidneys directly or making antibodies that attack the kidneys.
Genentech, Inc. (NYSE: DNA) and Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB) announced that a Phase III study of Rituxan® (rituximab) plus mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and corticosteroids in patients with lupus nephritis did not meet its primary endpoint of significantly reducing disease activity at 52 weeks. The primary endpoint evaluated improvements in kidney response as measured by standard laboratory tests used to assess kidney health.