Disease: SystemicLupus Erythematosus Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), commonly known as lupusis an autoimmune disease in which healthy tissues get attacked by the immunesystem. This causes chronic inflammation, pain, and damage throughout the body(1). Symptoms andProgression Lupus symptoms vary across different patients, but the mostcommon ones include fever, joint pain, skin lesions, chest pain, and rashes onthe face or other parts of the body (1).
Patients suffering from Lupus usually have “flares”, inwhich symptoms worsen at times and then come down to a lower level where theystay for long period of time. Epidemiology: There are currently more than 1.5 million Americanssuffering from lupus and each year 16,000 new cases get reported. About 90% ofall lupus patients are women between the ages of 14-44.
Hormones could be an explanationfor the prevalence of Lupus in women. Lupus is much more common in AfricanAmerican, Hispanic, and Asian women compared to Caucasian women (2). Treatments: There is no known cure for lupus, but multiple treatmentoptions are available to control various symptoms. Doctors usually customizetreatment for each patient depending on the symptoms severity of the disease.
Nonsteroidalanti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to treat pain, swelling, and fever,while Antimalarial drugs limit the risk of lupus flares. On the other hand, Corticosteroids are used againstinflammation and Immunosuppressant to suppress the immune system (3) Diagnosis: There is no one single test for lupus as symptoms fluctuateat various stages of the disease. Doctors diagnose lupus by combining blood andurine tests with signs and symptoms and physical examination. The laboratorytests include red blood cells count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, proteinand red blood cells in urine, assessment of kidney and liver, and antinuclearantibody (ANA) test. Imaging tests, which include chest X-ray and Echocardiogramcan also be used for diagnosis (4).
Market Size: Multiple drugs are used to control different symptoms ofLupus as disease shares a lot of symptoms with other indications. Anti-inflammatorydrugs are the most common ones followed by corticosteroids. Other immunosuppressant drugs are also usedand below is the chart that shows the revenue for different drugs for the year2016.
Fig 1- Global revenue for Lupus treatment drugs (4). Benlysta is the only approved drug specifically designed forthe treatment of Lupus. The FDA approved it in 2014 and revenue for 2016 was $377million (5). Research conducted by Technavio predicts the global Lupus marketis expected to grow up to 3.2 billion by 2025 (6).