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2009: A Year of Many Firsts in Efforts to Overcome Lupus
Date:12/23/2009

Achievements in Research, Education and Advocacy Cause for Celebration and Hope

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The year 2009 will be remembered as a year of many firsts for lupus, including the first successful phase III clinical trial of a potential new treatment for lupus, the launch of the first-ever Ad Council public awareness campaign for lupus, and the first comprehensive report on the barriers to lupus drug development. And it appears there are no signs of any slowing of momentum as we enter the New Year.

Advances during 2009 in basic and clinical research on lupus hold promise for a greatly improved quality of life for the 1.5 million Americans and the more than five million individuals worldwide who are living with lupus. Two pivotal studies of Benlysta(TM) (belimumab) reached their primary endpoints that should enable the drug to become the first new treatment approved for lupus in more than a half-century. In addition, several studies published during 2009 provided new clues into the underlying causes of lupus and how the disease affects people of different genders, ages, races and ethnicities. In June, the Lewin Group issued a report commissioned by the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) on barriers to lupus drug development. The report's recommendations provide a roadmap to the further development and approval of a full arsenal of new, more tolerable and effective treatments for lupus.

Continued Growth in Awareness and Public Support for Lupus

Awareness of lupus further grew in 2009 with the launch in March by the Ad Council of a national public awareness campaign that targets individuals at greatest risk for development lupus. In addition, musicians Julian Lennon and James Scott Cook released a new digital single, "LUCY," that helped to bring greater worldwide attention to lupus and generate funds to support lupus research.

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SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America
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