Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

INTRODUCTION: Generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) is an autoimmune disorder in which pathogenic autoantibodies damage the neuromuscular junction, causing disabling or life-threatening muscle weakness. Most treatments nonspecifically inhibit aspects of the immune system, do not directly address the causal mechanisms of tissue damage, and often have side-effect profiles that negatively impact patients. Understanding of the central pathogenic role of the complement cascade in gMG is advancing, and a new complement-targeting treatment is under investigation. AREAS COVERED: We provide an overview of gMG etiology, the complement cascade, current treatments, and the investigational gMG therapy zilucoplan. Zilucoplan is a small, subcutaneously administered, macrocyclic peptide that inhibits cleavage of complement component C5 and the subsequent formation of the membrane attack complex. EXPERT OPINION: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 clinical trial, zilucoplan demonstrated clinically meaningful complement inhibition in patients with acetylcholine receptor-positive gMG. Zilucoplan, a first-of-its-kind cyclic peptide targeting C5, appears to be a therapeutic option for the treatment of gMG based on available pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic data and phase 1 and 2 efficacy, safety, and tolerability data with limited long-term follow-up. Zilucoplan use earlier in the treatment paradigm would be suitable in this population should phase 3 efficacy and safety data be equally favorable.

Original publication

DOI

10.1080/13543784.2021.1897567

Type

Journal article

Journal

Expert Opin Investig Drugs

Publication Date

01/04/2021

Pages

1 - 11

Keywords

Autoimmune diseases, complement C5, complement activation, corticosteroids, generalized myasthenia gravis, membrane attack complex, neuromuscular junction