La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company, a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the research and development of pharmaceutical products in the United States. Its principal product in development is Riquent, which is designed to treat lupus renal disease by preventing or delaying renal flares. Lupus is an antibody-mediated disease caused by abnormal B cell production of antibodies that attack healthy tissues. Riquent is in Phase III clinical trial. The company also develops small molecules for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, and acute and chronic inflammatory disorders. La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company was founded in 1989 and is based in San Diego, California.
Riquent (abetimus sodium) is a synthetic oligonucleotide conjugate composed of 4 identical strands of dsDNA (20BP in length) that are linked through a triethyleneglycol-based platform. It binds anti-dsDNA Ab and the complex is cleared via the immune system, thus ridding the body of one of the primary pathogenic antibody associated with lupus.
Lupus nephritis is a serious and potentially fatal orphan disease treated primarily by nephrologists and rheumatologists. Currently, there are no products specifically approved to treat lupus renal disease.
La Jolla Pharmaceutical is investigating Riquent for the treatment of lupus renal disease by preventing or delaying renal flares, a leading cause of sickness and death in lupus patients, and improving proteinuria. Proteinuria is an indicator of abnormal renal function. Riquent has been well tolerated in all 14 clinical trials, with no overall difference in the adverse event profiles for Riquent-treated patients compared with placebo-treated patients. Riquent specifically reduces circulating levels of anti-dsDNA antibodies and is also designed to specifically suppress the B cells that make these antibodies. Decreases in these antibodies are believed to be associated with a decreased risk of renal flare. Although clinical benefit has not yet been proven, Riquent treatment has significantly reduced these antibody levels in all clinical trials in which they were measured.
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