NEW YORK, June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) launched the LRI Industry Council, a collaborative initiative founded with 13 leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies involved in lupus drug development. The LRI formed the new group to facilitate active collaboration among companies, research leaders, and patient advocates to overcome common obstacles in developing new treatments for lupus.
The need for safer and more effective treatments is critical. Treatment options for lupus are few, and most have serious side effects. Research funded by the LRI and others has identified many promising areas for new drug development currently being pursued by industry. But the complexity and unpredictability of the disease poses many challenges to testing new drugs. Common difficulties in designing effective clinical trials include measuring responses to treatment and recruiting volunteers as well as identifying those compounds that may work best for specific sub-sets of patients.
"In the past, companies have wrestled with these issues independently which can impede progress," noted Council Co-Chair and LRI Scientific Advisor Dr. Peter Lipsky. "The LRI is affording companies the opportunity to work together to find solutions to their common challenges so each can move forward with drug development more quickly and efficiently."
Co-chair Dr. Daniel Wallace of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center commented, "The new Council is already working on several ways to streamline and accelerate clinical trials aiming to bring lupus patients the safer and more effective treatments they need and deserve."
EMD Serono, Inc.
Genentech, A Member of the Roche Group
Janssen Research & Development, LLC
Eli Lilly and Company
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Lupus is a chronic, complex and prevalent autoimmune disease that affects more than 1.5-million Americans. More than 90% of lupus sufferers are women, mostly young women between the ages of 15 to 44. Women of color are especially at risk. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that attack the body's own tissues and organs -- the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.
About the Lupus Research Institute
The Lupus Research Institute (LRI), the leading private supporter of novel research in lupus, pioneers discovery and champions scientific creativity as it demonstrates the power of innovation to propel scientific solutions in this complex autoimmune disease. Founded by families and shaped by leading scientists, the Institute has generated $170 million in novel lupus research, delivering many of the decade's most pivotal breakthroughs, transforming treatment and advancing toward prevention and a cure.
With its National Patient Coalition of regional lupus organizations, the Lupus Research Institute improves patient care by research awareness, education and advocacy as it drives to a Life Without Lupus. For more information, visit www.lupusresearchinstitute.org.
SOURCE Lupus Research Institute