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May 10th is World Lupus Day

Posted by Simone on May 10, 2011 at 11:19 AM Comments comments (0)

World Lupus Day began with a Proclamation 7 years ago by an international steering committee representing lupus organizations from 13 different nations when they met in Eaton, United Kingdom to organize the first observance of World Lupus Day. The Proclamation is a call to action for governments around the world to increase their financial support for lupus research, awareness and patient services.

The Proclamation reflects the emerging issues that people with lupus around the world must face every day. The Proclamation serves to give a single voice to all individuals affected by this devastating and debilitating chronic disease.


www.worldlupusday.org


Declare World Lupus Day in your State

Posted by Simone on April 13, 2011 at 10:59 PM Comments comments (0)

Let's proclaim May 10th World Lupus Day in all 50 states and all major cities! It is easy all you have to do is contact your governor (http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Governors.shtml) and/or mayor and ask for a proclamation. There is a link to request a proclamation on most of their sites. Fill it our or just email them the below World Lupus Day Proclamation and hopefully they will respond with a certificate of proclamation.

Please join the international Lupus community in urging your local, state and/or federal government to adopt and issue the following World Lupus Day Proclamation:

WHEREAS, lupus is an autoimmune disease that can cause severe damage to the tissue and organs in the body and, in some cases, death; and

WHEREAS, more than five million people worldwide suffer the devastating effects of this disease and each year over a hundred thousand young women, men and children are newly diagnosed with lupus, the great majority of whom are women of childbearing age; and

WHEREAS, medical research efforts into lupus and the discovery of safer, more effective treatments for lupus patients are under-funded in comparison with diseases of comparable magnitude and severity; and

WHEREAS, many physicians worldwide are unaware of symptoms and health effects of lupus, causing people with lupus to suffer for many years before they obtain a correct diagnosis and medical treatment; and

WHEREAS, there is a deep, unmet need worldwide to educate and support individuals and families affected by lupus; and

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to increase awareness in communities worldwide of the debilitating impact of lupus; Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved that 10 May 2011 is hereby designated as World Lupus Day on which lupus organizations around the globe call for increases in public and private sector funding for medical research on lupus, targeted education programs for health professionals, patients and the public, and worldwide recognition of lupus as a significant public health issue.

Proclaimed This Day, 10 May 2011

First New Treatment for Lupus in More Than 52 Years

Posted by Simone on April 2, 2011 at 7:22 PM Comments comments (0)

(Washington, DC, March 9, 2011) Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug, BENLYSTA®, for the treatment of lupus, an autoimmune disease.


Sandra C. Raymond, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), has issued the following statement regarding the FDA’s decision:


"This is a historic day for the millions of people with lupus and their families around the world who have waited more than 52 years for a treatment breakthrough for lupus. We at the LFA applaud the FDA’s decision to approve BENLYSTA®. BENLYSTA is the first drug ever to be specifically developed to treat lupus, and is a significant first step toward reaching our goal of developing an arsenal of new, safe, effective, and tolerable treatments. Today marks the beginning of a new era of improved diagnosis, prevention, and treatment for the disease.


The LFA wishes to thank the physicians, researchers, industry leaders, and the many study volunteers who made this day possible. We also extend a special thank you to BENLYSTA®’s developers, the staff of Human Genome Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline, who have long been committed to the research and development process. These efforts will go a long way in elevating the profile of this disease that remains a significant national public health problem.


There are a number of pioneering biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, involved in the research and development of new treatments for lupus, and our hope is that today’s decision will further stimulate additional companies to invest in new therapies for lupus. To build on this momentum and encourage the development of new treatments, the LFA has launched new initiatives that help to strengthen clinical trials. These programs include the launch of a Web-based program designed to train clinical investigators on the instruments used in trials. As well, the LFA recently implemented the LFA Lupus Research Registry which enables individuals to be notified about new clinical trials in their geographic area. The Registry is part of the LFA’s Center for Clinical Trials Education.


The LFA also is partnering with key stakeholders from industry, government, and the scientific community to evaluate data from previous lupus clinical trials with the goal to improve the design of future studies."

October Awareness

Posted by Simone on October 12, 2010 at 1:58 PM Comments comments (0)

This Month is:

❦ National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

❦ National Disability Employment Awareness Month

❦ National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

❦ National Dental Hygiene Awareness Month

❦ National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

❦ National Physical Therapy Month

❦ Talk About Prescriptions Month

❦ Respiratory Care Week (24-30)

❦ National Osteoporosis Day (20)

❦ National Mammography Day (22)

❦ Lung Health Day (27)


Medicine for Lupus May Be Near

Posted by Simone on July 18, 2010 at 2:02 AM Comments comments (0)

Lupus in the News

The autoimmune disease lupus has bedeviled drugmakers for a half century, but some are now poised to break through.


Human Genome Sciences Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC are set to seek regulatory approval for a drug they developed, Benlysta, which could be the first new lupus medicine in over 50 years. A few venture-backed companies aim to follow closely behind.


They include Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc., which went public in March after raising capital from VantagePoint Venture Partners, Sofinnova Ventures and others, and Neovacs S.A., which went public in April after drawing support from firms such as Novartis Venture Fund.


In lupus the immune system attacks a patient’s own tissue, causing inflammation, pain and other symptoms. The disease, which affects 1.5 million Americans, according to the Lupus Foundation of America, tends to flare up and then recede into periods of remission. Its complexity has frustrated drug companies, but the success of Benlysta, which analysts peg as a potential blockbuster, is reviving hopes.


“There’s definitely renewed interest in the investment community in lupus,” said Brian Skorney, an analyst with ThinkEquity LLC. “There is a lot of money to be made if you’re able to get an effective therapy through the FDA.”


Doctors now prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and other medicines for lupus, but Benlysta is expected to be the first therapy developed specifically for the disease to reach market. HGS and GSK representatives were not immediately available for comment, but in late April they said they expected to file for approval in the U.S. and Europe this quarter.


The drug, which targets systemic lupus, inhibits B-lymphocyte stimulator, or BLyS, a protein that B-lymphocytes need to survive and mature into antibody-producing B cells. In lupus, elevated BLyS levels appear to contribute to the production of “autoantibodies,” which destroy healthy tissue. Research indicates that BLyS antagonists, such as Benlysta, can reduce autoantibody levels, according to Human Genome Sciences.


Benlysta, which is administered intravenously, showed that it can reduce disease activity in two Phase III clinical studies. Clinical research also suggests that the drug may make patients less prone to flare-ups, which can cause serious organ damage.


“It’s a huge advance for patients. People are not getting cured, but they’re not getting worse,” said Carol Werther, an analyst with Summer Street Research Partners. If all goes well, the drug could be launched by early next year, said Werther, who projects global Benlysta sales to reach $2 billion in 2015.


Anthera Pharmaceuticals, hopes its drug, A-623, will be a fast-follower to Benlysta. Like Benlysta, A-623 targets BLyS. But the drug, which will soon enter a Phase II clinical trial that will enroll 120 patients, may be effective when taken through subcutaneous injections, a potential advantage, it contends.


By Brian Gormley 

Full Article Here http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2010/06/08/after-a-half-century-of-work-medicine-for-lupus-may-be-near/




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