Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic disabling autoimmune disease that significantly impacts the
quality of life of patients, and can associate with several complications including end-stage renal disease and shortened
lifespan. A central component in the pathogenesis of SLE is the B-cell production of autoantibodies to multiple selfantigens.
Since, B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) plays a key role in the selection, differentiation and survival of most B
cells, it has been studied as a therapeutic target in SLE. After a gap of more than fifty years without new drugs being approved
for this disease, the human neutralizing anti-BLyS monoclonal antibody belimumab has recently been approved by
the FDA for SLE therapy. This review provides an overview on the targeting of BLyS in lupus animal models, the use of
belimumab in human SLE, and relevant patents.
Keywords: Autoimmunity, biologics, clinical trials, BLyS/BAFF, systemic lupus erythematosus
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