Lupus, an autoimmune disease where the body rejects its own cells, turns one’s immune system into its’ own enemy. With only one treatment in the last 60 years, patients have few options. Lupus Research Alliance seeks to change this by not only infusing hope but raising hard cash for a dynamic lupus research agenda. Upcoming Oct. 12 in NYC at the Intrepid, the world’s leading private funder of lupus research organizes NYC Walk with Us to Cure Lupus

The Disease

At least 1.5 million Americans and 5 million worldwide are afflicted with some form of lupus, reports the Lupus Foundation of America. 90% of those with lupus are women and most people develop the age between 15-44.  This author saw his cousin experience this horrible disease strike—she fought to live a good life the best she could but she ultimately succumbed to failing kidneys in her 40s.

There are four basic categories of lupus including 1) Systemic lupus (70% of cases)—about 50% of these cases a major organ is affected 2) Cutaneous lupus which impacts only the skin (10%); 3) Drug-induced lupus (10%) and 4) Neonatal lupus a rare condition.

The Pipeline

A recent academic study France summarized the pipeline for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) therapies which range from antimalarials to glucocorticoids plus a range of biologic immunosuppresives. The authors reveal that by the end of 2018 there were a total of 1,140 clinical trials involving 74 targeted therapies for SLE.  These treatments include the following breakdown:

  • Inflammatory cytokines, chemokines or receptors 23%
  • B cells or plasma cells 23%
  • Intracellular signaling pathways 14%
  • T/B cells costimulation molecules 10%
  • Interferons 9%
  • Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) 5%
  • Other various targets 16%

Although the authors acknowledge not all of the candidates will reach Phase III they are hopeful that the wide array of research may lead to new drugs that address unmet need for the lupus community.

Lupus Research Alliance

The Lupus Research Alliance was born with the merger of Alliance for Lupus Research, the Lupus Research Institute and the S.L.E Foundation in 2016 and represents the world’s leading private funder of lupus research. By fundraising and advocating for lupus community in multiple arenas the fight against lupus just grows. Thanks to the generous donations years back, such as those from Woody Johnson (Johnson & Johnson Family and owner of New York Jets) who gave to the Alliance for Lupus Research, not to mention many people that give what they can, the merged organization also recently influenced Congress as they approved a bill providing $5 million for the Department of Defense Lupus Research Program and a $2 billion increase to the budget to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) bringing the total to $39 billion for biomedical research of which $106 million will go into lupus research in 2019.

The Walk

The NYC Walk with Us to Cure Lupus occurs Oct. 12, at the Intrepid. All of the funds raised go directly to research programs.

Call to Action: Are you interested in the NYC Walk? See the link. Interested in learning more about the lupus pipeline? Contact the Lupus Research Alliance.

Source: CBS New York

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