The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced its decision to discontinue the Phase III LOTUS study of Stelara (ustekinumab) in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) due to lack of efficacy in SLE. The decision is based on data from a pre-planned interim efficacy analysis.
Interim safety findings were consistent with the known safety profile of Stelara, and no new safety signals were identified. Investigators, study participants and health authorities have been informed of the decision. The company intends to thoroughly analyze the totality of the study data and publish findings.
“Lupus patients are waiting for better treatments, which makes this outcome disappointing,” said Alyssa Johnsen, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President, Rheumatology Disease Area Leader, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. “Our hope is that by ultimately sharing these data with the scientific community we can help inform lupus research and therefore still have a positive impact on the lives of patients living with SLE. Janssen continues to be strongly committed to research and development of novel therapies for lupus.” The decision to discontinue the LOTUS study does not impact any other ongoing studies with ustekinumab or current indications. A second Phase III study, LOTUS-C, in SLE to be conducted in China was planned but will not start given this decision.