Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

September 20, 2022

Otsuka announces EC approval of Lupkynis® (voclosporin) as first
oral treatment for active lupus nephritis

Otsuka announces EC approval of Lupkynis® (voclosporin) as first oral treatment for active lupus nephritis

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd. today announces that the European Commission (EC) has approved Lupkynis® (voclosporin) in combination with mycophenolate mofetil for the treatment of adult patients with active class III, IV or V (including mixed class III/V and IV/V) lupus nephritis (LN). The EC decision applies to all 27 European Union (EU) member states as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Northern Ireland. Voclosporin is the first and only oral treatment approved in Europe for the treatment of active LN in adult patients.

The EC approval is based on the positive results from the pivotal Phase 3 AURORA 1 study*1 and the AURORA 2 continuation study*2, which demonstrated that treatment with voclosporin, in combination with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and low-dose corticosteroids, led to statistically superior complete renal response rates at 52 weeks compared to MMF and low-dose corticosteroids alone*3. The safety profile of voclosporin and MMF and low-dose corticosteroids was generally comparable to MMF and low-dose corticosteroids alone3.

"Today's EC approval of voclosporin represents a significant development for lupus nephritis patients in Europe, offering the appropriate patients a new treatment option." said Andy Hodge, CEO of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd.

LN is a severe manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a chronic and debilitating autoimmune disease and is suggested to cause irreversible nephron loss*4. Up to 210 in 100,000 people in Europe live with SLE*5 and, while more prevalent in women, men who develop SLE may experience a more severe disease*6. Between 40 and 60 percent (depending on ancestry) of those with SLE are at risk of developing LN during their lifetime*7.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved voclosporin in combination with a background immunosuppressive therapy regimen, as the first FDA-approved oral medicine to treat adult patients with active LN in 2021. A decision on marketing authorisation in Great Britain is expected from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the coming weeks. In addition, a marketing authorisation application was submitted to the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products and is currently under review.

About Lupkynis® (voclosporin)

Voclosporin is an oral calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) for the treatment of LN secondary to SLE. It has a postulated dual mechanism of action, acting as an immunosuppressant through inhibition of T-cell activation and cytokine production, and promoting podocyte stability in the kidney*3. This medicine is subject to additional monitoring. This will allow quick identification of new safety information. You can help by reporting any side effects. See for how to report side effects.

About the collaboration between Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd and Aurinia

In December 2020, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement with Aurinia for the development and commercialisation of voclosporin for the treatment of LN in the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom, Russia, Switzerland, Norway, Belarus, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Ukraine.

  1. * Aurinia Renal Response in Active Lupus With Voclosporin (AURORA). NCT03021499. Available from: [Last accessed: September 2022].
  2. * Aurinia Renal Assessments 2: Aurinia Renal Response in Lupus With Voclosporin (AURORA2), NCT03597464. Available from: [Last accessed: September 2022].
  3. *3Rovin BH, Teng YKO, Ginzler EM, et al. Efficacy and safety of voclosporin versus placebo for lupus nephritis (AURORA 1): a double-blind, randomised, multicentre, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial. Lancet. 2021 May 29;397(10289):2070-2080. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00578-X. Epub 2021 May 7. Erratum in: Lancet. 2021 May 29;397(10289):2048. PMID: 33971155.
  4. *4Parodis I, Tamirou F, Houssiau FA. Treat-to-Target in Lupus Nephritis. What is the Role of the Repeat Kidney Biopsy? Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2022 Feb 11;70(1):8. doi: 10.1007/s00005-022-00646-9. PMID: 35147824; PMCID: PMC8837511.
  5. *5Barber MRW, Drenkard C, Falasinnu T, et al. Global epidemiology of systemic lupus erythematosus. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2021 Sep;17(9):515-532. doi: 10.1038/s41584-021-00668-1. Epub 2021 Aug 3. Erratum in: Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2021 Sep 1;: PMID: 34345022; PMCID: PMC8982275.
  6. *6Sepúlveda JI, Bolin K, Mofors J, et al. Sex differences in clinical presentation of systemic lupus erythematosus. Biol Sex Differ. 2019 Dec 16;10(1):60. doi: 10.1186/s13293-019-0274-2. PMID: 31843005; PMCID: PMC6915972.
  7. *7Barber MRW, Hanly JG, Su L, et al. Economic Evaluation of Lupus Nephritis in the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics Inception Cohort Using a Multistate Model Approach. Arthritis Care Res. 2018;70(9):1294-1302. doi: 10.1002/acr.23480.