NEW YORK, May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lupus Research Institute and its
National Coalition of state and local lupus organizations today announced
the launch of www.LupusTrials.org, the official website for the new
clinical trials campaign "Lupus Together: For Clinical Trials Today."
The patient-friendly site is part of a year-long national initiative to
educate the more than 1.5 million Americans with lupus-a chronic autoimmune
disease for which there is no known cause, few medicines, and no cure-about
the importance of participating in lupus clinical trials, and how to go
about enrolling in one.
The timing is critical, as promising new research findings spur drug
developers to contemplate clinical research in lupus for the first time in
Of the more than 15 clinical trials underway, many explore alternatives
to the presently used drugs that are often as destructive-or even more
so-than the disease itself. Currently approved therapies for lupus can
weaken bones, destroy eyesight, cause uncontrollable appetite and mood
swings, and sharply increase the risk for infection, diabetes and
infertility, among other insidious and potentially life-threatening
"Our patients need better treatment options," explains Margaret Dowd,
president of the Lupus Research Institute. "Now is the time for the next
generation of lupus therapies. We have waited long enough."
To spread awareness of the existence and promise of clinical trials,
visitors to the new website will not only learn about the clinical trial
process but can read first-hand accounts of others who have participated in
trials and get strategies for locating a trial that is taking place close
"Our hope is that the next 10 years will be the Golden Age for the
development of new lupus drugs," says leading lupus doctor Richard Furie,
MD, chief of rheumatology at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New York.
"Science is ready. But for success, the lupus community must band
together." "We have the experts to conduct the trials. We have the
Institute and others to get the word out. But to get results, we need lupus
patients to show interest. This is for them. They need to do their part."
Without enough study volunteers, trials cannot successfully determine
the effectiveness of a treatment. This may discourage companies from
exploring new drugs for lupus in the future.
To learn more about lupus clinical trials, log on to
The "Lupus Together: For Clinical Trials Today" is a campaign of the
Lupus Research Institute National Coalition and is supported in part by
unrestricted educational grants from Aspreva Pharmaceuticals,
Genentech/Biogen Idec., and creative support from the New Jersey-based
advertising agency, Galvanek & Wahl.
Lupus is one of America's least recognized major diseases. It is
estimated that as many as 2 million Americans have lupus. Systemic lupus
erythematosus (S.L.E.), commonly called lupus, is a chronic and potentially
fatal autoimmune disorder. It is considered the prototype autoimmune
disease because the body's immune system forms antibodies that can attack
virtually any healthy organ or tissue, from the kidneys to the brain,
heart, lungs, skin, joints and blood. No major new treatments for lupus
have been approved in the last 40 years, and existing medications are
highly toxic and can have debilitating effects.
About the Lupus Research Institute:
The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) is the national nonprofit
organization at the forefront of innovation in lupus research. Recognizing
that most major medical breakthroughs come from unexpected directions, the
Institute fosters and supports only the highest ranked new science to
prevent, treat and cure this chronic autoimmune disease. Since its founding
in 2000, the Institute has invested almost $20 million in novel lupus
research, providing funding for 73 studies at 43 academic medical
institutions in 22 states.
Through its National Coalition, a network of national and regional
leaders in major markets across America, the LRI also works with patient
groups to advocate for increased research funding, to spread awareness of
the severity of the disease and its complications, and to push for new
treatments and a cure.
To learn more about lupus and the Lupus Research Institute, visit
SOURCE Lupus Research Institute