Lupus is a prototypical, chronic autoimmune disorder. Understanding its many complexities is the key to allowing us to better understand a host of other autoimmune diseases and powering many advances in the field of immunology. In the face of this global pandemic, that research has never been more critical. What we know today about lupus is aiding researchers in identifying characteristics of COVID-19. It’s also encouraging that some lupus therapies and rheumatoid arthritis treatments are part of a consideration set for researchers moving forward. Continuing our pursuit to fully understand lupus helps assist all researchers in their pursuit to better understand the immune response to viral invaders like COVID-19.
LRA Leading Lupus/COVID-19 Research
Our Scientific Advisory Board members have been our guide, sharing the similarities they see between combatting autoimmunity to fighting a similar over-zealous immune system reacting to the coronavirus. Following is how the organization has responded aggressively to the COVID-19 crisis for our community based on the science.
Diving deep on research on behalf of the lupus community during this crisis, the LRA and our affiliate Lupus Therapeutics discuss with a panel of experts the impact and burden of COVID-19 on people with lupus.
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Lupus Therapeutics, the clinical trial affiliate of the LRA, has embarked on a clinical study to assess the benefit of hydroxychloroquine and/or other lupus therapies to prevent or reduce COVID-19 symptoms in people with lupus.
The study will be designed and conducted with Lupus Therapeutics’ Lupus Clinical Investigators Network of 57 academic medical centers in North America.
The LRA is among the sponsors of the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance, a grassroots group formed March 2020 to unite rheumatologists and patients with rheumatic diseases worldwide to respond to the global pandemic.
Led by the American College of Rheumatology, the group has already created and published important data from a secure global registry for healthcare providers to share their experience treating people with rheumatologic conditions such as lupus who develop COVID-19. Reporting will also record how common rheumatic medications like Plaquenil impact patients’ outcomes and evaluate the risk of infection in patients on immunosuppression.
The LRA’s April 2, 2020 live webcast addressed the most frequently asked questions doctors are hearing from people with lupus, put the hydroxychloroquine shortage into perspective, and highlighted LRA actions on behalf of the community. Hear from lupus experts Drs. Daniel Wallace, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Mary Crow, Hospital for Special Surgery along with LRA President/CEO Kenneth Farber. on COVID-19 for people with lupus that you won’t want to miss
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Seeing the need to tamp down an over-active immune system, many pharmaceutical companies are bringing their expertise in rheumatic treatments for lupus and other rheumatic diseases to test potential treatments for COVID-19. Preserving the supply of a drug people with lupus rely on, hydroxychloroquine, has been a major focus as well as testing other potential treatments for COVID-19.
- LRA Encouraged by Lilly Looking at Potential Lupus Drug for COVID-19
- Actions from Pharmaceutical Companies to Preserve Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) Supply
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Accepts Donations of Hydroxychloroquine as Possible Treatments for COVID-19 Patients