Telitacicept: First Approval
Telitacicept (Tai'ai®) is fusion protein comprising a recombinant transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor (TACI) receptor fused to the fragment crystallizable (Fc) domain of human immunoglobulin G (IgG). Telitacicept is being developed by Yantai Rongchang Pharmaceutical through its subsidiary RemeGen for the treatment of B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple sclerosis (MS). Telitacicept binds to and neutralizes the activity of two cell-signalling molecules, B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) and a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), thereby suppressing the development and survival of plasma cells and mature B cells. In March 2021, telitacicept received its first approval in China for the treatment of patients with active SLE. Clinical studies of telitacicept in several other indications, including IgA nephropathy, MS, myasthenia gravis, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders, RA and Sjögren's syndrome are underway in China. This article summarizes the milestones in the development of telitacicept leading to this first approval for SLE.