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Anthera's kidney disease drug gets FDA orphan designation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted orphan drug designation to Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s blisibimod for the treatment of immunoglobulin A nephropathy.

Blisibimod targets B-cell activating factor, which has been shown to be elevated in various B-cell mediated autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus, immunoglobulin A nephropathy and others.

Immunoglobulin A nephropathy, also known as Berger's disease is characterized by deposition of immune complexes in the kidney, resulting in inflammation, the leakage of blood and protein into the urine, and loss of kidney function.