A Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of Secukinumab in Alleviating Symptoms of Discoid Lupus Erythematosus

Study Purpose

Discoid lupus erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory skin condition and may lead to itch, skin pain, open sores, scarring, disfigurement and hair loss. Studies have shown that IL-17A may play a major role in inflammation and in the pathogenesis of discoid lupus. Treatment of discoid lupus sometimes is a challenge and unresponsive to current therapies. Secukinumab, an anti-IL-17A monoclonal antibody has been safe and effective in the treatment of psoriasis. The investigators propose to study the efficacy and safety of secukinumab in discoid lupus.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years and Over
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

1. Male or female subject 18 years of age or older. 2. Subjects with moderate to severe DLE with at least one active discoid target lesion (0.5-1.0 cm2), with CLASI ≥ 5. 3. Willingness of subject to follow all study procedures. 4. Willingness to avoid excessive exposure of diseased areas to natural or artificial sunlight.

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Pregnancy or breast feeding. 2. Any condition or therapy that in the investigator's opinion may pose a risk to the subject or that could interfere with any evaluation in the study. 3. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) as defined by ACR criteria. 4. Known hypersensitivity to any of the constituents or excipients of the investigational product. 5. Use of any prescription or non-prescription medication that could interfere with efficacy evaluations in the study. 6. Change in use of systemic DLE therapy, e.g. systemic corticosteroids, cyclosporine A, azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, in the past 1 month. 7. Use of systemic pain medications, e.g. oxycodone in the past 2 weeks. 8. Participation in another clinical research study with an investigational drug within 4 weeks before this study. 9. Use of immune-suppressant or other biological treatment. 10. Starting antimalarial medicine after enrolling in the study. Subjects who are already on a stable dose of antimalarial before enrollment, may continue the same dose. 11. An ongoing infection.

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Phase 2
Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

Massachusetts General Hospital
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Gideon Smith, MD
Principal Investigator Affiliation Mass. General Hospital
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
Additional Details

Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is a cutaneous manifestation of lupus that can exist either as part of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or as a chronic cutaneous condition with no systemic involvement. While the skin-limited, chronic form, has no impact on mortality, it can have significant morbidity, as lesions are painful and scarring. While some patients respond well to use of steroids, whether topical or intralesional, antimalarials such as hydroxychloroquine, or traditional immuno-suppressants there is a significant proportion of patients who remain non-responsive to these treatments, or require high dosages of these, oral steroids, or experimental therapies to suppress the condition. For this group of patients there is a high clinical need to find alternate therapies. Although the pathways of inflammation are poorly understood, one cytokine of potential interest is IL-17A. Immunohistochemical analysis of skin samples from 89 subjects showed that expression of IL-17A was higher in DLE, SCLE and SLE patients than in negative control subjects (all p<0.05). Serum IL-17A concentrations were higher in DLE and SLE patients than in negative controls (p<0.05), a finding confirmed in studies of DLE in different populations. Recently secukinumab (Cosentyx), an anti-IL-17A monoclonal antibody, has been approved for use in psoriasis after rapid and sustained results in clinical trials. It has also found promise in other inflammatory conditions where IL-17A signaling is believed to be important, such as uveitis. Given its good safety profile, its impressive response in psoriasis and steroid-unresponsive inflammatory conditions, and the immunohistochemical evidence that IL-17A may be important in the inflammatory path of DLE, the investigators propose a pilot study of secukinumab in discoid lupus erythematosus.

Arms & Interventions


Experimental: Secukinumab

Secukinumab 300 mg injection at week 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, then every 4 weeks until week 12


Drug: - Secukinumab

All subjects will receive secukinumab 300 mg injections subcutaneously at week 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, then every 4 weeks until week 12.

Contact a Trial Team

If you are interested in learning more about this trial, find the trial site nearest to your location and contact the site coordinator via email or phone. We also strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider about the trials that may interest you and refer to our terms of service below.

CURTIS (Massachusetts General Hospital), Boston, Massachusetts




CURTIS (Massachusetts General Hospital)

Boston, Massachusetts, 02114

Site Contact

Maria Alora, MD

[email protected]