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National Report Shines Light on Lupus 50-Year Treatment Drought
Date:10/4/2009

ique challenges of lupus drug development and ways to overcome them.

Lupus is a chronic, severe autoimmune disease that affects approximately 1.5 million Americans primarily women in their childbearing years. In its more severe form lupus can lead to kidney failure, heart attack, atherosclerosis, or even death. According to the report, lupus "stands apart" from other chronic autoimmune diseases because the majority of therapies currently used to effectively manage lupus have not been approved by the FDA for the disease. Many of these medications often have side effects that can be worse than the primary disease, including osteoporosis, weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, sterility, liver damage, and the increased risk of infection.

"The recommendations are a call to action requiring the efforts of all key stakeholders," said Sandra C. Raymond, LFA President and CEO. "They provide the foundation for developing and obtaining approval for the arsenal of therapies and personalized treatment that people with this perilous disease require."

The report states that the persistent lack of success of lupus clinical trials has consequences for the willingness of drug manufacturers to pursue FDA approval and indicates "some in industry perceive no clear pathway or system in place for the development of lupus therapies."

"The report findings demonstrate that the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries cannot develop lupus treatments in a vacuum," said Rick Goulburn, Executive Vice President - Global Autoimmune Therapy Area at Vifor Pharma. "We need more collaboration and partnership across all sectors of the field, greater investment by the federal government in basic lupus research, and continued leadership from the LFA and the entire scientific community."

Lupus drug development has had many setbacks in recent years including the failure of several promising new treatments. However, much has been lear
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SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America
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