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Highly Accessed Open Badges Editorial

Meryl Streep and the problems of clinical trials

David A Isenberg

Author affiliations

Centre for Rheumatology, Division of Medicine, University College London, The Rayne Building, 5 University Street, London WC1E 6JF, UK

Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14:113  doi:10.1186/ar3751

See related research by Ginzler et al.,

Published: 23 March 2012


A clinical trial of lupus patients with nephritis was established to determine any possible role for Atacicept, a biologic drug that blocks two B-cell-activating factors (BLyS and APRIL). The trial was stopped after just six patients had been enrolled because three patients developed serious infections. Initial concerns that the biologic was the main cause of the increased susceptibility to these infections have had to be revised on close inspection of the data. The evidence clearly points to a previously unrecognised capacity for mycophenolate to cause notable drops in immunoglobulin levels as the prime suspect.