At the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, researchers reported on an investigational new medication that may improve the management of the autoimmune disease lupus.
Researchers reported that the drug has been demonstrated in animal experiments to reduce lupus symptoms, reverse indicators of organ damage, and avoid mortality.
The oral medication, afimetoran, is currently undergoing phase 2 human clinical studies. Trial outcomes in humans frequently diverge from those in animal studies.
Around the world, lupus is thought to affect 5 million people and is brought on when the immune system attacks the body. Rashes, great exhaustion, discomfort, and serious organ damage are among the symptoms.
The condition is thought to be brought on by receptor proteins that typically trigger the immune system to fight infections malfunctioning.
The two medicines that are now licensed particularly to treat lupus work to stop the body’s immune system from attacking it, but they must be administered via injection and infusion.
Afimetoran, created by Bristol-Myers Squibb, is an oral medication that blocks the receptors that are specifically linked to lupus.
Alaric Dyckman, director at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, New Jersey, stated in a news release about the meeting, “With afimetoran, not only could we prevent the development of lupus-like symptoms in mice before their disease onset, but we could reverse the symptoms and prevent death in animals that were days or weeks away from succumbing to the disease.”
Afimetoran’s ability to almost entirely block the receptors that cause lupus was demonstrated in phase 1 clinical studies, which were used to assess the medication’s safety in humans.
The medication may be beneficial in treating other autoimmune diseases like psoriasis or arthritis because of the way it works.
The research results were presented on Tuesday in Chicago during the society’s annual meeting. Conventionally, research that is presented at meetings is regarded as preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed publication.