Development of atacicept for lupus in patients with SLE is discontinued

A phase 2/3 trial of atacicept in combination with mycophenolate mofetil and corticosteroids for the treatment of lupus nephritis in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus has been discontinued.

In October 2008, Merck Serono announced that a phase 2/3 trial of atacicept in combination with mycophenolate mofetil and corticosteroids for the treatment of lupus nephritis in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) was being discontinued because patients treated with this regimen experienced an increased risk of severe infection. The manufacturer stated that this increased risk of infection was probably the result of underlying disease activity and corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression. Trials of atacicept for generalized SLE, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS), and hematologic malignancies are continuing as planned.