One can hope – and this latest news from La Jolla looks very interesting indeed.
Quoted from http://www.ljpc.com/pressrelease/0308_07.html :
SAN DIEGO, MARCH 8, 2007 – La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (Nasdaq: LJPC) today announced positive interim antibody results from its ongoing double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized Phase 3 trial of Riquent® (abetimus sodium), its drug candidate for systemic lupus erythematosus (“lupus” or “SLE”). Analyses of interim antibody data indicate that patients treated with 900 mg or 300 mg per week doses of Riquent had greater reductions in antibodies to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) than patients treated with 100 mg per week or placebo. The results showed a significant dose response when comparing all Riquent-treated patients to placebo-treated patients (p < 0.0001), and each Riquent dose group to the placebo dose group (p < 0.0015 for 100 mg, p < 0.0001 for 300 mg and 900 mg).
A conference on this was held on 8 March 2007. Thankfully it’s also available as a Webcast here.
But click quickly since they’ll made the Webcast available for several weeks only.
About Riquent :
Riquent is being developed to specifically treat lupus renal disease by preventing or delaying renal flares, a leading cause of sickness and death in lupus patients. Riquent has been well tolerated in all 13 clinical trials, with no serious Riquent-related side effects identified to date. Riquent’s only known biological activity is the reduction of circulating levels of anti-dsDNA antibodies. Increases in these antibodies are associated with an increased risk of renal flare. Although clinical benefit has not yet been proven, Riquent treatment has significantly reduced these antibody levels in all clinical trials where they were measured.
What is SLE (Lupus) anyway ?
Lupus is a chronic, potentially life-threatening autoimmune disease. About 90% of lupus patients are female, and many are diagnosed with the disease during their childbearing years. Approximately 50% of lupus patients have renal disease, which can lead to irreversible renal damage, renal failure and the need for dialysis, and is a leading cause of death in lupus patients. Latinos, African Americans and Asians face an increased risk of serious renal disease associated with lupus. The current standard of care for lupus renal disease often involves treatment with high doses of corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs that can cause severe side effects including diabetes, hypertension and sterility, and may leave patients vulnerable to opportunistic infections. To date, no lupus specific drug has been approved in the U.S.
The experiment and tests on Riquent has gone for 10 years though, and I have no idea how long it’ll be so before it’ll be available for sale. If you want to be kept up to date on this, you can register on their press release update service.
We have several of our friends suffering from Lupus, and it is a very distressing problem to those who have it. Hopefully someone will find this information useful.