Clinical evidence of the role of belimumab in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus

Author(s): Ricard Cervera, Gerard Espinosa

Belimumab is a human monoclonal antibody that binds soluble B lymphocyte stimulator, thus preventing the binding to its receptors on B cells. B lymphocyte stimulator has proven to be a key factor in the selection and survival of these cells. Two Phase III trials have demonstrated that belimumab, in combination with standard therapy, was generally well tolerated and significantly reduced disease activity and flare rates in patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), thus allowing its approval by the European and American regulatory agencies as the first biological therapy for SLE. The aim of this article is to review the evidence-based clinical effectiveness of belimumab in the treatment of SLE patients.