Renal inflammation associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), also known as lupus nephritis (LN), is among the most serious manifestations of the disease. Presently, no therapies are specifically approved for LN, and the off-label drugs used to treat SLE and LN are largely old and generically available, owing to the difficulty of developing novel treatments for this complex disease. In 2011, GlaxoSmithKline’s Benlysta (IV) became the first drug to win approval for SLE in 60 years, but it is not labeled for patients with active LN and is not typically used in these patients. Thus, unmet need remains high in this indication, leaving significant commercial opportunity for novel LN therapies.


  • What are the treatment drivers and goals for lupus nephritis?
  • What drug attributes are key influences, which have limited impact, and which are hidden opportunities?
  • How do current therapies perform on key treatment drivers and goals for lupus nephritis?
  • What are the prevailing areas of unmet need and opportunity in lupus nephritis?
  • What trade-offs across different clinical attributes and price are acceptable to U.S. and European physicians for a hypothetical new lupus nephritis drug?


Provides quantitative insight into U.S. and European physician perceptions of key treatment drivers and goals and the current level of unmet need for a specific disease. Commercial opportunities are analyzed, and the extent to which emerging therapies may capitalize on these opportunities is evaluated.

Markets covered: United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany.

Primary research: Survey of 30 U.S. rheumatologists, 30 U.S. nephrologists, and 30 European rheumatologists fielded in March 2019.

Key companies:  Astellas Pharma, Aurinia pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca (MedImmune), Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche.

Key drugs: Azathioprine, Benlysta (belimumab) [IV], CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil), cyclophosphamide (IV), hydroxychloroquine, Orelvo (voclosporin), Rituxan/MabThera (rituximab), tacrolimus.

Table of contents

  • Detailed, Expanded Analysis: Lupus Nephritis
    • Introduction
      • Overview
      • Methodology
      • Rationale for Treatment Drivers and Goals Selection
        • Efficacy
        • Safety and Tolerability
        • Convenience of Administration
        • Nonclinical Factors
      • Rationale for Drug Selection
    • Treatment Drivers and Goals
      • Key Findings: Attribute Importance
      • Key Findings: Stated vs. Derived Importance
    • Product Performance Against Treatment Drivers and Goals
      • Key Findings
    • Assessment of Unmet Need
      • Key Findings: Unmet Need in Lupus Nephritis
      • Key Findings: Unmet Need in Lupus Nephritis and Related Indications
    • Opportunity Analysis
      • Areas of Opportunity in the Lupus Nephritis Market and Emerging Therapy Insights
        • Opportunity: A Novel Therapy Offering Improved Efficacy in Inducing Renal Remission
        • Opportunity: A Novel Therapy Offering Improved Efficacy in Maintaining Renal Remission
        • Opportunity: A Novel Therapy Offering Improvement in Health-Related Quality of Life
    • Target Product Profiles
      • Assessing Drug Development Opportunities
      • Target Product Profile Methodology
      • Attribute Importance and Part-Worth Utilities
        • Lupus Nephritis Target Product Profile: Attribute-Level Part-Worth Utilities
      • Conjoint Analysis-Based Simulations of Market Scenarios
        • Scenario 1
        • Scenario 2
    • Appendix
      • Experts Interviewed
      • Bibliography

Author(s): Mohit Nasa, MBA

Mohit Nasa is a Lead Insights analyst on the Immune and Inflammatory team at Decision Resources Group and has authored content for indications like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy and has earned his MBA in marketing and CRM from Amity Business School. Prior to joining DRG, Mohit worked as a Senior Business analyst at Novartis where he was responsible for end to end market assessment, reporting analytics and related projects for Novartis’s asthma brand Xolair. Mohit has also worked as Brand Manager at Ozone pharma and an Account Manager for IMS Health.

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