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Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2012 Aug;14(4):295-302. doi: 10.1007/s11926-012-0258-2.

The rationale for BAFF inhibition in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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  • Center for Autoimmunity and Musculoskeletal Diseases, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, 350 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA. adavidson1@nshs.edu


BAFF (B-cell-activating factor) is a critical survival factor for transitional and mature B cells and is a promising therapeutic target for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In 2010-2011, two phase 3 clinical trials showed that the addition of the anti-BAFF antibody belimumab to standard-of-care therapy in patients with moderately active SLE results in a better outcome at 52 weeks than standard-of-care therapy alone. Belimumab has been US Food and Drug Administration approved for the treatment of SLE, and other drugs that target BAFF are now in various stages of clinical testing. This review describes the function of BAFF and its homolog APRIL (a proliferation-inducing ligand) and addresses the rationale for the treatment of SLE with BAFF/APRIL inhibitors.

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