J Korean Med Assoc.  2021 Feb;64(2):109-115. 10.5124/jkma.2021.64.2.109.

Biologic therapies for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus

  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Daegu Catholic University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea


Systemic lupus erythematosus is a typical autoimmune disease with a complex etiology, including the interaction of genetic/epigenetic factors and environmental and hormonal factors with innate immune cells or B/T lymphocytes. Studies on possible therapeutic targets have been conducted in recent decades, motivated by developments in immunology and molecular engineering. The current treatment guidelines recommend conventional immunomodulation with glucocorticoid and antimalarial agents depending on disease severity. However, targeted therapy based on the diverse disease pathophysiology is still not established and widely applied. Furthermore, although rituximab, belimumab, and other conventional immunomodulators have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are widely used, several clinical trials testing other biological products have failed to show satisfactory results. This review introduces novel biological agents that can potentially improve therapeutic performance in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. These agents include humanized anti-CD20, anti-CD22, and anti-CD40L antibody; interferon α inhibitor; rigerimod; Bruton’s tyrosine kinase; and immunocomplex blockers.


Systemic lupus erythematosus; Autoimmune diseases; Treatment; Biological products; Biologic therapy; 전신홍반루푸스; 자가면역질환; 치료: 생물학적제제; 생물학적제제요법
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