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by | Jan 24, 2021

Making Strides: The First-Ever FDA-Approved Lupus Nephritis Drug


We are making great strides even when the world is upside-down.

As many of you know, I have been around for decades in the war against lupus. I am thrilled to share this news with you. As I have personally embarked on the lupus journey and have seen so little progress made in the approval of new medications for lupus, this gives me great joy.

I have known hundreds of fellow lupians struggling to find the right fit for their kidney issues with lupus. My Uncle Pat had lupus nephritis. He had a kidney transplant and did well for many years, but his medication was always a challenge. I promised him that there would be a drug for lupus nephritis someday. He is smiling from the heaven above to see his wish come to fruition. I also have a cousin who fought the kidney battle, and she, too, will be celebrating the good news.

This advancement did not happen by chance; it was the result of a movement. The lupus movement’s advocacy initiatives drive research and increase interest among the medical and research communities to accelerate groundbreaking drugs. I would like to give a huge shout out to all those who help us in our advocacy efforts. You do matter, and you do make a difference. Thank you.

We are always seeking exciting new developments in care. Finally, there is the first-ever drug approved by the FDA specifically for lupus nephritis.

“For years treating patients with lupus nephritis has been challenging. We have had an extremely limited number of therapeutic options, and these have been only modestly effective but highly toxic,” said Brad H. Rovin, M.D., Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Division of Nephrology, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and AURORA clinical trial investigator. “The FDA approval of LUPKYNIS allows us to treat patients safely and more effectively with a rapid-acting therapy which requires far fewer steroids, something our patients will appreciate.”

To assist LUPKYNIS patients and the healthcare provider (HCPs) who prescribe the treatment, Aurinia has developed and launched Aurinia Alliance™, a patient support program featuring dedicated nurse case managers who provide personalized educational resources and assistance in navigating insurance and Aurinia medication costs throughout each patient’s LUPKYNIS treatment journey. To learn more about Aurinia Alliance or LUPKYNIS, visit

“People with lupus nephritis have desperately needed approved treatments to help them avoid irreversible kidney damage and the eventual need for a kidney transplant,” said Stevan W. Gibson, President, and CEO, Lupus Foundation of America national office, “The approval of a tailored therapy represents a significant step forward in treating lupus nephritis and is excellent news for the lupus community.”

2021 is going to be an exciting year for lupus. There are other medications, as well as existing drugs, on the horizon awaiting FDA approval. Despite living in the crazy COVID world, we are overjoyed that we could still make great strides.

We are looking forward to a robust year in programming for lupus. Aurinia Pharmaceuticals will join the Lupus Foundation of America, Greater Ohio Chapter as a sponsor of our new website early this year. We created this partnership in late December with hopes that the FDA would approve this new medication in our war against lupus nephritis.

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