Abetimus is a selective immunosuppressive agent (a compound that selectively dampens down the immune system). Most patients with SLE have antibodies in their blood that are directed against double-stranded DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). These antibodies are thought to be linked to the development of lupus kidney disease. Abetimus is a small piece of double-stranded DNA that has been designed to reduce circulating levels of these antibodies. When Abetimus is injected, the levels of these antibodies in the blood are lowered and this is expected to help reduce the patient’s likelihood of experiencing a ‘flare’.