This prespecified subgroup analysis of East Asian adults who participated in a phase 3 clinical trial of belimumab added to standard therapy vs. placebo added to standard therapy for lupus nephritis shows earlier and more sustained improvement in kidney outcomes with the addition of belimumab.
Lupus nephritis (LN) is a severe complication of the kidneys in patients with the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus. Belimumab is used in combination with standard therapy for treatment of patients with LN. As data on belimumab treatment of East Asian patients with LN are limited, researchers assessed the efficacy and safety of belimumab in a subgroup of East Asian patients from the BLISS-LN, a randomized controlled trial. Patients received monthly belimumab or placebo in addition to standard therapy.
After 104 weeks, patients who received belimumab showed earlier and more sustained improvements in kidney outcomes compared with patients who received placebo, while no new safety concerns were raised. These results recently published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (AJKD) support the use of belimumab treatment for East Asian patients with LN.