Anthera to Host Symposium on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in January

Ines Martins, PhD avatar

by Ines Martins, PhD |

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Researchers review how lupus treatment can improve

anthera-smallBiopharmaceutical company Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is hosting a symposium on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) designed for shareholders and investors, which is taking place on Wednesday, January 14, at 3:30 pm at the Mystic Hotel in San Francisco, CA. Anther is focused on the development and commercialization of medical options for the treatment of severe and life-threatening conditions.

Anthera’s products offer treatment for patients who suffer from diseases such as lupus, lupus with glomerulonephritis, IgA nephropathy, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis. During the event, entitled “Right Patient, Right Therapy” — A Symposium on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Anthera experts will address the company’s novel therapies.

During the “Right Patient, Right Therapy” symposium, experts in the field of immunology will lecture on their perspectives on recent developments in the treatment of SLE and BAFF inhibition. The experts invited by Anthera include David Wofsy, MD, Professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Joan Merrill, MD, OMRF Professor of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and Vibeke Strand, MD, Clinical Professor at the University of Ottawa.

“The wealth of new information released over the past year regarding the treatment of SLE and BAFF inhibition provides an excellent opportunity to re-evaluate how we think about SLE, from optimal trial design to improving patient selection,” explained the Chief Medical Officer at Anthera, Colin Hislop. “We look forward to having top experts in the field give us their views on what recent developments mean for patients with lupus.”

The company is currently developing a selective inhibitor of B-cell activating factor (BAFF), called blisibimod, and investigating its clinical uses in several autoimmune disorders, including SLE. It is a novel FC-fusion protein, or peptibody, and is different from an antibody. The company holds the rights for blisibimod worldwide (except for Japan), and it is expected to become an alternative therapy for SLE.

BAFF or BLyS, short for B lymphocyte stimulator, has received attention in the scientific community, as it is a tumor necrosis family member crucial for the development, maintenance, and survival of B-cells, which in turn are an important part of the human immune system. When the body registers an abnormally elevated B-cell or BAFF level, it may indicate that there is an overactive immune response, which can cause damage to healthy tissue and organs. Several studies have already been conducted and revealed the potential of BAFF antagonists and inhibitors in the treatment of lupus.