March 30, 2021
Equillium, Inc. announced positive topline data from the phase 1b EQUALISE study in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This study suggests that itolizumab, a monoclonal antibody selectively targeting the CD6-ALCAM pathway, was safe and well tolerated among people with SLE. [Source: Equillium, Inc. Press Release 3.30.21]
The EQUALISE study is evaluating the safety and tolerability of itolizumab at varying doses given by injection to patients with SLE and lupus nephritis. The EQUALISE trial is also evaluating how well biomarkers like ALCAM in the urine can inform which patients would benefit from treatment with itolizumab. The biomarker ALCAM was first identified in part by work conducted by Dr. Chandra Mohan that was funded by the Lupus Research Alliance. ALCAM is a small molecule on the outside of T cells of the immune system that helps the T cells move through the tissues of the body, including the kidney.
Dr. Mohan used ALCAM to identify lupus nephritis patients most likely to respond best to therapy, monitor the disease and guide treatment. Itolizumab blocks the ALCAM pathway that Dr. Mohan found.
The LRA is also proud to have played an important role in the trial design and initiation, making sure that the patient perspective is well represented. The organization reviewed educational materials about the trial and enlisted people living with lupus and/or lupus nephritis to also provide feedback.