NEW YORK, NY. May 1 — The Lupus Research Alliance (LRA) launches its Breaking through for Lupus Research: 20 Years of Progress campaign today in observance of Lupus Awareness Month. The organization will be celebrating the scientific discoveries that have brought the greatest hope to the lupus community.
The LRA has invested over $200 million for more than 500 lupus research grants. During the last 20 years, research funded by the legacy organizations has contributed to every major breakthrough in lupus to date.
Cutting-edge work by our funded researchers have led to the:
- ultimate development of belimumab (Benlysta®), the only medication approved specifically for lupus
- discovery of a novel therapy called RSLV-132 which reduces inflammation and is now in clinical trials for lupus
- identification of how the microbiome – the bacteria in our gut – affects the development and progression of lupus
- understanding of lupus heterogeneity – the differences between each person with lupus – that pave the way for personalized medicine to pair the right treatment with the right patient
LRA funding also has enabled substantial progress in identifying the role in lupus of the two parts of the immune system – the innate immune system which quickly fights infections and the adaptive immune system that targets specific intruders. The LRA is also responsible for opening new areas of investigation including the emerging fields of immunometabolism, the relationship between immunologic and chemical processes in the body, as well as neuropsychiatric lupus in which the immune system attacks the brain, spinal cord or nerves.
Testing New Treatments, Diagnostics
Additionally, through its affiliate Lupus Therapeutics, the LRA is the only voluntary lupus health organization to establish and fund a clinical trials network. The Lupus Clinical Investigators Network (LuCIN) has launched ten clinical trials over the past year.
Amplifying Lupus Voices
This month’s events include Walk with Us to Cure Lupus in cities across America, uniting the lupus community behind lupus research. Other events to join are the Willie Colon Golf Outing Crafted by Tito’s Handmade Vodka in New Jersey May 6 and the Lupus Luminary Luncheon for Science in Manhattan May 7. Over the next weeks, Lupus Luminaries from the patient, business, medical and scientific communities will be celebrated to bring attention to the hope sparked by 20 Years of Progress in Lupus Research. Recognizing that every member of the lupus community is a luminary, everyone is invited to share their story on the LRA website.
Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90% of people with lupus are women; lupus most often strikes during the childbearing years of 15-45. African Americans, Latinx, Asians and Native Americans are two to three times at greater risk than Caucasians. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that can attack any part of the body including the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.
About the Lupus Research Alliance
The Lupus Research Alliance aims to transform treatment while advancing toward a cure by funding the most innovative lupus research in the world. The organization’s stringent peer review grant process fosters diverse scientific talent who are driving discovery toward better diagnostics, improved treatments and ultimately a cure for lupus. Because the Lupus Research Alliance’s Board of Directors fund all administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of all donations goes to support lupus research programs.
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