Malaysia Among the First Countries to Conduct Clinical Trials of Lupus Disease Treatment


Malaysia is one of the seven countries selected to conduct clinical trials on humans to treat Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). SLE then causes lupus nephritis (LN) which leads to death due to kidney failure, infection, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Minister of Health, Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad said Malaysia became the first country in the Asia Pacific region to conduct human clinical studies for the drug obinutuzumab developed by Roche Pharmaceutical from Switzerland. In Roche's previous trials, obinutuzumab reduced the risk to the kidney that was to be avoided by up to 60% and reduced LN by up to 57% in SLE patients who took it.

SLE or more commonly known as Lupus is an autoimmune disease of the body that causes the body's immune system to attack healthy body tissues. The cause of Lupus is still unknown but adult women are nine times more likely to develop it than adult men. In Malaysia, 80% of the more than 10,000 Lupus patients are women between the ages of 15-50.

Lupus causes death in 10-15% of patients but it can be controlled through treatment and early detection. Among the prominent people who suffer from this disease are Seal, Lady Gaga and Beethoven.

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