Systemic lupus erythematosus: an expert insight into emerging therapy agents in preclinical and early clinical development

Milena Tocut*, Yehuda Shoenfeld, Gisele Zandman-Goddard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic disease that is potentially fatal. There is no cure for SLE and the medications used are associated with toxic side effects. In the era of revolutionary emerging novel biologic agents, the design and investigation of targeted therapy for these patients is necessary. Novel therapies under investigation in phase II–III clinical trials showed promising results. Therapies can target various pathways involved in SLE including cytokines, signal transduction inhibitors, B-cell depletion and interference with co-stimulation. Of interest is the proof of concept of sequential therapy. Areas covered: We performed an extensive literature search via PubMed, Medline, Elsevier Science and Springer Link databases between the years 2014–2020 using the following terms: SLE, novel treatments. We have reviewed 232 articles and selected those articles that (i) focus on phase II–III emerging therapies and (ii) offer new findings from existing therapies, which reveal breakthrough concepts in SLE treatment. Expert opinion: It is still difficult to crack the puzzle of a successful SLE treatment approach. New strategies with potential may encompass the targeting of more than one protein. Another way forward is to identify each SLE patient and personalize therapy by clinical manifestations, disease activity, serology and activated protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1162
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2020


  • Jak inhibitors
  • SLE
  • biologics
  • clinical trials
  • interferon
  • novel treatment
  • small molecules B cell depletion


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