"These results validate our earlier findings in patients with severe disease and provide further confirmation for our choice of study population and endpoint in the CHABLIS-SC Phase 3 development program," said Colin Hislop, MD, Anthera's Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. "These data also provide a sound rationale for our Phase 2 program to examine the utility of blisibimod as a potential treatment for patients' renal disease, such as IgA nephropathy and lupus nephritis and encourage further expansion of inclusion criteria for the CHABLIS-SC2 phase 3 program to include stable presentations of lupus nephritis."
*SRI is defined as patients who respond to treatment and achieve a reduction in SELENA-SLEDAI equal to or greater than the number indicated, no new BILAG A or two B organ domain scores, and no increase in Physician's Global Assessment (PGA) of greater than 0.3 on a three point scale.
**SELENA-SLEDAI -- Safety of Estrogen in Lupus Erythematosus National Assessment / Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Activity Index is a cumulative, weighted index of systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity.About Blisibimod and PEARL-SC BAFF has been associated with a wide range of B-cell-mediated autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, IgA nephropathy, immune thrombocytopenic purpura and others. Multiple clinical studies with other BAFF antagonists recently have reported on BAFF's potential positive role in treating lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Anthera is advancing its development of blisibimod, a broad inhibitor of BAFF, to expand its potential clinical utility in autoimmune diseases. Blisibimod is a novel fusion protein called a peptibody and is distinct from an antibody. Anthera owns worldwide rights to blisibimod in all potential indications. The PEARL-SC Phase 2 study was designed as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging superiority trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of blisibimod plus standard of care, versus placebo plus standard of care. A total of 547 patients with active SLE were randomized to receive one of three different doses of blisibimod or placebo (100 mg weekly, 200 mg weekly or 200 mg monthly) administered subcutaneously over a minimum 24-week treatment period, in addition to standard-of-care therapy. The study was conducted at multiple centers worldwide.