Significant Unmet Need Exists in the Management of Lupus and the Clinical Manifestations in Moderate-to-Severe Patients Are More

EXTON, Pa., Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, Inc. is pleased to announce the publication of a new syndicated report focused on the management and treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the U.S.  ChartTrendsĀ®: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is an annual publication based on patient and laboratory data collected from 1,079 lupus patient charts as submitted by 201 rheumatologists. The report provides insight into the factors that drive decisions to treat, selection of immunomodulator therapies, patient characterizations by ethnicity and clinical manifestation and treatment outcomes.

The unmet need in moderate-to-severe SLE remains high despite the recent increased, off-label usage of unapproved immunosuppressant agents such as Roche/Galencia's CellCept and Genentech/BiogenIdec's Rituxan. Only one-third of rheumatologists feel that their moderate-to-severe SLE patients are optimally managed with respect to controlling the signs and symptoms of active disease. Though currently available agents are effective, the toxicity and side effect profiles of these agents effectively limit the ability of patients to stay on immunosuppressive therapy long-term.

Based on the results from the patient record audit, rheumatologists actually see a higher prevalence of clinical manifestations of SLE disease in their clinical practice than they self-reported. Patients with visceral disease other than musculoskeletal or dermatological involvement had less favorable treatment outcomes based on flare occurrence, ability to perform activities of daily living, ability to achieve remission, elevated inflammatory biomarkers and laboratory parameters which reflect active disease.

No new therapies have been approved for SLE in five decades and numerous immunosuppressant agents have failed in clinical trials. However, rheumatologists' receptivity and patient chart allocation to Human Genome Science/GSK's Benlysta (belimumab), a first-in-class BLyS-specific inhibitor currently under review by the FDA, indicate that the potential uptake immediately post-launch could be strong among moderate-to-severe SLE patients -- including certain populations excluded from the BLISS clinical trials and a broad representation from ethnic minority groups.

The ChartTrendsĀ®: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus report compares what physicians self-report about disease management to what actually occurs at the patient level. It evaluates patient characteristics which impact clinical management including patient demographic variables, co-morbidities, concomitant medications, patient serologies and lab values.  

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