Watch out Glax­o­SmithK­line: As­traZeneca's once-failed lu­pus drug is now ap­proved

Cap­ping a roller coast­er jour­ney, As­traZeneca has steered its lu­pus drug an­i­frol­um­ab across the fin­ish line.

Saph­ne­lo, as the an­ti­body will be mar­ket­ed, is the on­ly treat­ment that’s been ap­proved for sys­temic lu­pus ery­the­mato­sus since Glax­o­SmithK­line’s Benlysta clinched an OK in 2011. The British drug­mak­er notes it’s al­so the first to tar­get the type I in­ter­fer­on re­cep­tor.

Mir­ror­ing the pop­u­la­tion that the drug was test­ed on in late-stage tri­als, reg­u­la­tors sanc­tioned it for pa­tients with mod­er­ate to se­vere cas­es who are al­ready re­ceiv­ing stan­dard ther­a­py — set­ting up a launch planned for the end of Au­gust, ac­cord­ing to Ru­ud Dob­ber, who’s in charge of As­traZeneca’s bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals busi­ness unit.

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