Read the Latest in Lupus Research: Belimumab Effectively Treats Lupus Flares Over a Four-Year Period
Posted Jan 13 2010 5:24am
Belimumab (also known as Benlysta™) is currently being studied in Phase III clinical trials to determine whether or not it is effective for lupus. Belimumab specifically reduces the actions of a protein called “B lymphocyte stimulator,” or BLyS. BLyS is a protein that increases the lifespan and inflammatory potential of certain immune cells called B cells, which are known to be hyperactive in lupus patients. Belimumab, which interferes with BLyS, is a human antibody. This means that it looks a lot like the antibodies that the immune system makes to fight off viruses. But in this case, belimumab targets only the protein BLyS. Because it only has one target, it is called a "monoclonal" antibody.