A high rate of serious infections in a phase III trial of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody ocrelizumab for class III/IV lupus nephritis led to early termination of the study. Thus, despite the partial results (n = 223) suggesting that this drug might have some efficacy—overall renal response rate was improved, although not statistically significantly, in the ocrelizumab group compared with the placebo group (66.9% versus 54.7%)—the risks associated with ocrelizumab use seem to outweigh the benefits for patients with this disease.
ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPER
Mysler, E. F. et al. Efficacy and safety of ocrelizumab in active proliferative lupus nephritis: results from the randomized, double-blind phase III BELONG study. Arthritis Rheum. doi:10.1002/art.38037
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Phase III ocrelizumab trial halted by infections. Nat Rev Rheumatol 9, 444 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrrheum.2013.98