January 24, 2019
A recent review article in Lupus Science & Medicine provides a valuable overview of the “10 most important contemporary challenges in the management of SLE” according to a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, pharmacists and researchers from several clinics and patient organizations in France. Their top 10 challenges include several critical factors that the Lupus Research Alliance is charged with addressing, i.e. developing new treatment options and limiting use of steroids; deriving more comprehensive tools for evaluating disease activity; identifying biomarkers for individualized treatment; and managing complications of lupus. The study authors also highlighted another priority for the Lupus Research Alliance — the need to overcome the heterogeneity of lupus at the molecular and genetics levels.
As the largest private funder of lupus research in the world, the Lupus Research Alliance addresses these issues from a wide range of perspectives as the realization of our core mission – to transform treatment while advancing toward a cure. Primarily, our organization supports the most innovative studies across the entire spectrum of research from fundamental through translational and clinical studies.
Under the guidance of a Strategic Planning Committee, made up of clinical and scientific leaders in the lupus field, a Scientific Advisory Board and the Board of Directors the organization has developed and will soon be launching publicly a forward-thinking research strategy for the next 5 years that will lead the global drive to deliver new treatments, prevent disease progression and cure lupus.
Also aimed at accelerating the identification and development of new treatments, the organization initiated the Lupus Clinical Investigator Network (LuCIN) comprised of leading lupus experts at academic research centers throughout North America. Administered by our affiliate, Lupus Therapeutics, LuCIN conducts clinical trials in cooperation with academic and industry sponsors. Our advocacy and programs department reinforces the urgent need for diverse racial/ethnic representation in clinical trials through multi-factorial initiatives designed to reach out to all groups affected by the disease with a focus on traditionally underrepresented populations. In addition, the organization provides educational materials to people with lupus while empowering the community to advocate for the federally funded dollars needed to conduct large-scale research projects.
“The Lupus Research Alliance appreciates the work of Dr. Renaud Felten and colleagues for their timely and thoughtful paper that clearly articulated major challenges facing the lupus medical community,” commented Dr. Teodora Staeva, Chief Scientific Officer at the Lupus Research Alliance. “Our own work has identified many of the same difficulties and we are developing bold strategies we believe can address them.”