The FDA has approved a new drug from Astra Zeneca to treat some patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It's the first approved drug of its kind, and the only new treatment for SLE in more than a decade, according to Astra Zeneca.
SLE is a form of autoimmune disorder affecting more than 300,000 people in the U.S.
The drug is anifrolumab, an inhibitor of type 1 interferons. It will be sold as Saphnelo.
According to Astra Zeneca: "Saphnelo is a first-in-class type I interferon receptor antibody and the only new medicine in over a decade for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus."
In studies, the drugmaker says more patients treated with Saphnelo had "a reduction in overall disease activity across organ systems, including skin and joints, and achieved sustained reduction in oral corticosteroid (OCS) use compared to placebo, with both groups receiving standard therapy."
Common adverse events during the studies reportedly included: "nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, bronchitis, infusion-related reactions, herpes zoster and cough."
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