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Lupus Research Update: 2009 Volume 1

Volume 1, 2009 - Online Edition | In This Issue


Message From The President >
Early Funding From the Alliance For Lupus Research Helps Small Firm Advance Research >
Activist Cathy Flanagan-Ross Donates “Cure Lupus Now” Trademark To The ALR >
Lupus Research Progress – ALR-Funded Researcher Awarded DoD Funding >
Lupus Research Progress – 2009 Grantees Represent Cutting Edge Research >
Who Gets Lupus? >
The Face of Lupus: Jalynn Skye Miller and Family >
National Limousine Association Supports the ALR >
ALR Proudly Displays BBB Wise Giving Alliance Seal >
ALR Advocacy Leads to Continued DoD Funding for Lupus Research >
Shoe News – Families Walking for a Cure: The Rineharts, Baltimore, MD, Saint Peter's University Hospital, and Singing for a Cure in Seattle >

Early Funding From the Alliance For Lupus Research Helps Small Firm Advance Research

Dr. Franck Barrat“It was very risky and difficult back in 2004 to move forward with research to develop a drug for lupus,” says Dr. Franck Barrat of Dynavax Technologies. “Even drugs that had shown efficacy in other autoimmune diseases had failed in lupus treatment. And much larger companies with far more funding and sophisticated technologies had failed at it.”

But Dr. Barrat felt sure that his research into the role of the TLR7 interceptor in the progression of lupus was worth pursuing. Thanks to funding from the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR), his company Dynavax was able to study the activity of their first-in-class oligonucleotide-based TLR7 and TLR9 inhibitors, called immunoregulatory sequences (IRS), in lupus-prone mice. The success of that research, which showed lupus could be reduced in mice, led to further funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and most recently to a major strategic alliance with pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith Kline.

With the support of Glaxo Smith Kline, Dr. Barrat’s research will move full speed ahead into human clinical trials later this year. “ALR’s funding at an early stage helped our small company create enough data to make a credible case for further research and funding,” says Dr. Barrat. “Will it lead to a new treatment?” wonders Dr. Barrat. “I don’t know yet. But we’re getting a chance to try it. And that’s what ALR made possible.”


1.5 million

people in the U.S. have Lupus.

90 million

dollars committed to lupus research by the Alliance for Lupus Research.


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