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FDA approves first-of-its-kind lupus drug

January 25, 2021

While estimates vary, the Lupus Foundation of America figures that 1.5 million people in the U.S. and at least 5 million people worldwide are affected by the autoimmune disease. Despite the prevalence of the condition, however, there remains relatively few new treatment options.

Historically, repurposed anti-inflammation drugs, steroids, immunosuppressants and antimalarials like hydroxychloroquine have been used to manage lupus symptoms. But it wasn’t until 2011 that a drug specifically developed for the disease, GlaxoSmithKline’s Benlysta, became available.

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