Rituximab biosimilar BCD020 showed effectiveness in treating lupus nephritis in a pediatric population according to results of a retrospective study published in the journal Biomedicines. A biosimilar is a medication that is as the name suggests very similar to the drug already approved – in this case rituximab. A retrospective study looks back at information already gathered.
The study investigators conducted the analysis because “pediatric lupus nephritis (LN) is one of the most serious manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in children, determining the outcomes of the disease,” with no standardized treatment protocols, and without conclusive definition of the role of biologics in its treatment.
The researchers looked at data from the case histories of 25 patients with LN (10 boys and 15 girls) who were diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus at an average age of 13 who had not responded to standard of care non-biologic treatment or who had developed either dependence or toxic side effects using corticosteroids.
All patients showed improvement in lupus nephritis symptoms and 28 percent showed remission of symptoms. No significant flares were observed during the study. The most important results were the rapid and highly effective control of lupus nephritis and a significant reduction in the dose of corticosteroids without disease progression.
Study investigators concluded that “randomized controlled trials are required to evaluate the efficacy and safety of rituximab and evaluate the benefits when compared with conventional SLE treatment.”