Belimumab is the first treatment specifically developed for SLE in over 50 years

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Human Genome Sciences (HGS) presented BENLYSTA (belimumab). This is a treatment for adult patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who have a high degree of disease activity and in which the disease is not controlled despite receiving therapies. This drug is a treatment specifically indicated for reducing disease activity in SLE. Dr. Ricard Cervera, head of Department of Autoimmune Diseases at IDIBAPS - Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and one of the principal investigators of this drug, has participated in the presentation.

Lupus is a serious, chronic and debilitating condition that often affects young people between 15 and 44 years, of which 90% are women. It is estimated that in Europe there are 500,000 people living with different types of lupus, including lupus erythematosus (SLE). Only in Spain there are around 40,000 people affected. Its natural evolution involves sporadic activity that cumulatively can cause irreversible organ damage and even death.

According to Dr. Ricard Cervera, "belimumab represents a significant milestone in the treatment of SLE and provides an additional therapeutic option to reduce disease activity in patients unresponsive to standard treatment. Belimumab is the first treatment specifically developed for SLE in over 50 years."

Further information: Human Genome Sciences