Table 1

Approaches that directly target B cells and plasma cells



Putative/intended mechanism of action

Developmental status


MD1342 (fully human)

B-cell depletion

Phase I for RA, trial suspended

CD19 chimeric antigen receptors

Phase I/II for B-cell malignancies





Rituximab (chimeric)

Approved for use in NHL, RA and ANCA vasculitides

Ocrelizumab (humanized)

Phase III for RRMS and PPMS

Veltuzumab (humanized)

Phase III for RA, phase I/II for AITP

Ofatumumab (fully human)

Phase III for RA, phase I/II for RRMS


Epratuzumab (humanized)

Blockade of CD22 - partial depletion of B cells, inhibition of activation, proliferation, survival of B cells

Phase III for SLE


Anti-CD52 or Campath-1h, Alemtuzumab

Depletion of T cells and B cells

Phase III for MS, phase II for autoimmune cytopenias, phase I for inclusion body myositis, phase I/II for RA not continueda

AITP, Autoimmune thrombocytopenia; ANCA, anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody; MS, multiple sclerosis; NHL, non-Hodgkin lymphoma; PPMS, primary progressive multiple sclerosis; RA, rheumatoid arthritis; RRMS, relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis; SLE, systemic lupus erythematosus. Data from webcite (accessed 5 January 2012). aSee [150-152].

Mei et al. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012 14(Suppl 5):S1   doi:10.1186/ar3909