Is there still a role for abatacept in the treatment of lupus?

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The quest for safer and more effective treatments for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has led to the development of many new biologic therapies. Abatacept is the first drug targeting co-stimulation between T cells and antigen presenting cells, with abundant pre-clinical evidence to support its use in SLE. AREAS COVERED: This review will present the relevant aspects of lupus pathophysiology pertaining to the mechanism of action of abatacept, a summary of murine studies and the latest human clinical trials. EXPERT OPINION: Abatacept has demonstrated efficacy in both rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, and earlier studies have suggested tantalising evidence of efficacy in SLE. However, the latest randomised double-blinded study showed disappointingly negative results, much like the case of rituximab in SLE. Currently, abatacept remains a possible therapeutic option as an off-label therapy, and it is a part of our therapeutic armamentarium in difficult cases. The need to find appropriate definitions of response and optimal study design continues to be paramount in the field of lupus therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1345 - 1350
Number of pages6
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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