In a post hoc analysis of the phase 2 NOBILITY trial, researchers found that treatment with obinutuzumab—an antibody that targets a protein expressed on certain immune cells—was superior to placebo for preserving kidney function and preventing flares in patients with lupus nephritis, a kidney condition associated with the autoimmune disease lupus.
In the analysis, which is published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, compared with standard-of-care treatment alone, the addition of obinutuzumab to lupus nephritis treatment reduced the risk of developing a composite outcome of death, fall in kidney function, or treatment failure by 60%. Adding obinutuzumab also reduced the risk of lupus nephritis relapses by 57% and significantly decreased the rate of decline in kidney function over the 2 years of the trial.
Overall, 38% of obinutuzumab-treated patients compared with 16% of placebo-treated patients achieved a complete remission of lupus nephritis by week 76, with the need for fewer glucocorticoids.
“These data are really important because the ultimate goal of lupus nephritis therapy is to preserve kidney survival so patients never have to face the need for dialysis or transplantation because their kidneys failed,” said corresponding author Brad Rovin, MD, of Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “The addition of obinutuzumab to standard lupus nephritis therapy may increase the likelihood of achieving this goal.” (Newswise/FK)