Conference ReCAP

A Review of ACR Convergence Abstracts on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


The American College of Rheumatology hosted its first-ever all-virtual annual meeting this year. Convergence 2020 highlighted several important treatment abstracts related to systemic lupus erythematosus.

Dr Michelle Petri, of Johns Hopkins University, reports on the use of hydroxychloroquine, which was not found to be associated with QTc length in a large cohort of patients with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. This is notable because hydroxychloroquine was implicated in ventricular arrhythmias in patients with COVID-19 who were also given azithromycin.

Dr Petri also looks at the results of two trials focusing on the effects of belimumab and obinutuzumab on renal outcomes.

In the belimumab trial, the primary outcome was a 700-mg reduction in the urine protein to creatinine ratio, and it met that outcome with a 10.8% delta that was statistically significant. It also met the complete renal response outcome of less than 500 mg with a 10% delta, which is statistically significant.

In the other study, obinutuzumab showed a marked improvement over rituximab as a B-cell depleter.

The completion of the phase 2 trial means that there are now 2 years of data showing a 19% delta between obinutuzumab and standard-of-care treatment.

Finally, Dr Petri highlights two studies focusing on nonrenal lupus and the use of both BIIB059 and iberdomide.


Michelle Petri, MD, MPH, Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Director, Johns Hopkins Lupus Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.

Michelle Petri, MD, MPH, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:
Received research grant from: GlaxoSmithKline; Eli Lilly and Company; Thermo Fisher; Hexagen; AstraZeneca
Received income in an amount equal to or greater than $250 from: AbbVie; Amgen; AstraZeneca; Blackrock; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Hexagen; Glenmark; GlaxoSmithKline; IQVIA; Janssen; Eli Lilly and Company; Merck; EMD Serono; Novartis; Sanofi; Thermo Fisher; UCB

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