Lupus Therapeutics, AbbVie partner for phase 3 trials of upadacitinib in SLE

Lupus Therapeutics, a clinical research affiliate of the Lupus Research Alliance, inked a partnership deal with AbbVie to help run phase 3 trials of the drugmaker’s upadacitinib in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Under the deal, Lupus Therapeutics will aid with patient recruitment, trial site activation and engagement through the Lupus Clinical Investigators Network, the company said in a Tuesday release.

SLE is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own tissues, causing widespread inflammation and tissue damage.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Lupus Therapeutics has also partnered with Nkarta to help speed development of its NKX019 CAR NK candidate for lupus nephritis.

Current lupus treatments include GSK’s SLE drug Benlysta, a biologic therapy approved by the FDA in 2011, and AstraZeneca’s Saphnelo, an IV infusion that garnered approval for patients with SLE in 2021.

As for upadacitinib, the drug is already approved in the U.S. with the brand name Rinvoq. The drug carries FDA approvals to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, atopic dermatitis, ulcerative colitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis.