Saphnelo approved in the US for moderate to severe systemic lupus erythematosus – AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca’s Saphnelo (anifrolumab-fnia) has been approved in the US for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who are receiving standard therapy.
The approval by the FDA was based on efficacy and safety data from the Saphnelo clinical development programme, including two TULIP Phase III trials and the MUSE Phase II trial. In these trials, more patients treated with Saphnelo experienced a reduction in overall disease activity across organ systems, including skin and joints, and achieved sustained reduction in oral corticosteroid (OCS) use compared to placebo, with both groups receiving standard therapy.
This marks the first regulatory approval for a type I interferon (type I IFN) receptor antagonist and the only new treatment approved for SLE in more than 10 years. Type I IFN plays a central role in the pathophysiology of lupus and increased type I IFN signalling is associated with increased disease activity and severity.
Dr. Richard Furie, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Northwell Health, New York, US and a principal investigator in the Saphnelo clinical development programme, said: “Our treatment goals in systemic lupus erythematosus are to reduce disease activity, prevent organ damage from either the illness itself or the medications, especially steroids, and improve one’s quality of life. Today’s approval of anifrolumab represents a big step forward for the entire lupus community. Physicians will now be able to offer an effective new treatment that has produced significant improvements in overall disease activity, while reducing corticosteroid use.”