Clinical trials in systemic lupus erythematosus: a status report on ongoing trials

Divya Gumber, Jisna Paul, Prabha Ranganathan

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To describe the characteristics of trials in systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) listed in "" such as study design, funding sources and aspects of the disease and drugs under investigation. We conducted a survey of ongoing clinical trials that were registered in the "" website. We used the advanced search option and applied the following inclusion criteria, “SLE,” “open studies,” “interventional,” and “adults 18 years or older.” Of 97 eligible studies, 34.0 % were phase 3 or 4, 49.5 % were phase 1, 2 or 2/3 and in 16.5 %, we could not determine the study phase. Most trials were randomized (69.0 %) and 48.4 % were double blinded; 34 % of the trials were placebo controlled, 19.6 % had an active agent comparator and 46.4 % had no comparator. Universities and pharmaceutical industries were the primary sponsors for 45.3 and 39.1 % of the trials, respectively, and government agencies for 10.3 %. Multi-center trials based in the USA (US) accounted for 40.2 % of the trials, 46.4 % were outside of the US and 13.4 % were in the US as well as other countries. The most frequently used endpoint was drug efficacy (30.9 %) followed by disease severity indices (25.7 %), drug safety (14.4 %), remission rates and times to remission (7.2 %), and inflammatory markers and antibody titers (7.2 %). The majority of ongoing clinical trials in SLE are university or industry-funded, randomized phase 1, 2, or 2/3 trials, focused on drug efficacy. Federal funding for trials in SLE within and outside the US remains low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1633-1638
Number of pages6
JournalRheumatology International
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2014


  • Clinical trials
  • Registry
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus


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