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The Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) drug market is currently under-served by non-generic, targeted therapies. Whilst the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved biologic, Benlysta (belimumab), generated sales of $111m in 2012, there is little evidence that the drug’s performance is significantly superior to other B-cell targeted therapies such as Rituxan (rituximab), which is often used off-license to treat refractory SLE patients. Therapeutics entering the market therefore do not face the staggering level of competition from currently marketed programs as in other markets such as the Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) market. Emerging market entrants that appear to offer significant therapeutic benefits are likely to cause dramatic changes to the market landscape.
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