Houssiau's team, along with colleagues from the manufacturer of the vaccine, Neovacs, found the drug to be well tolerated with no significant side effects.
"This is an early, first step. It appears to be safe. And, the fact that they could show that they could inhibit or down-regulate the interferon signature is very promising," said Aranow.
Houssiau didn't know what the vaccine might cost if developed commercially, but said it would likely be more expensive than the standard therapies currently used.
For people living with lupus, he added, "there is hope. By unraveling more and more pathways at work in lupus patients, we are now able to develop new, much more targeted drugs to tackle the disease."
Because this research was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Learn more about lupus at WomensHealth.gov.
SOURCES: Frederic Houssiau, M.D., Ph.D., head of rheumatology and professor of rheumatology, Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium; Cynthia Aranow, M.D., investigator, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, N.Y.; American College of Rheumatology, news release, Nov. 5, 2011; presentations, American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, Chicago
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