Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/13/2018 -- Lupus nephritis refers to the kidney damage caused by the disease lupus erythematosus. Lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease where the immune system turns against the body, affecting vital organs. Systemic lupus erythematosus affects the kidneys, joints, skin, and brain and can be fatal. While the primary cause of the disease is unknown, it is expected that factors such as viruses, infections, pollutants, and toxic chemicals, along with family history plays a role in causing the disease. The disease is more common in women compared to men.
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Kidney damage from lupus erythematosus can vary from mild to severe. In lupus nephritis, glomeruli or the filtering units are damaged. As a result, waste from the blood does not get filtered. A majority of the patients diagnosed with lupus erythematosus suffer from some kidney damage. The key symptoms of lupus nephritis are flank pain, dark urine, weight gain due to retention of extra fluid, swelling of hands, feet, eyes, and high blood pressure.
The growing prevalence of lupus nephritis and awareness among patients have propelled the growth of the global lupus nephritis market. Rise in number of clinical trials conducted by key market players and the launch of new biologic drugs will also augment the growth of the global lupus nephritis market. However, prolonged regulatory processes regarding the approval of biologic drugs are likely to hamper the market's growth in the near future.
To diagnose lupus nephritis, tests such as blood tests, urine tests, and imaging tests, including biopsy and ultrasound, are commonly conducted. There are five different types of lupus nephritis and the treatment depends upon the disease type. Biopsy is the only way to determine the type of lupus nephritis.
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Medications used in the treatment of lupus nephritis include immunosuppressive drugs, corticosteroids, and drugs to prevent blood clots and low blood pressure. Corticosteroids are strong anti-inflammatory drugs that are prescribed to improve inflammations caused by lupus nephritis. Immunosuppressive drugs such as azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, and mycophenolate suppress the immune system activity that affects the kidneys. A newer medication, belimumab, is a monoclonal antibody and is prescribed as a biologic drug for the treatment of the disease. Antimalarial drugs are also used to help control the disease. Dialysis and kidney transplant are ultimately prescribed for patients suffering from loss of kidney function even with intake of drugs.
The global lupus nephritis market has been segmented into four key regions: North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Rest of the World. Robust healthcare infrastructure and research and development activities in developed economies in North America and Europe have propelled the growth of the lupus nephritis market in these regions. The growing prevalence of the disease in North America has also augmented the market growth. It is estimated that about 1.5 million Americans suffer from lupus. In Asia Pacific, the market has registered significant demand with the introduction of biologics.
Some of the key players in the global lupus nephritis market are Roche, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, and GlaxoSmithKline. The key market players are focusing on the development of biologic drugs. Benlysta, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, is the only approved biologic drug in the global lupus nephritis market.
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