NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The newly merged Lupus Research Alliance celebrated its debut at the Inaugural Gala, uniting the three world leaders in lupus research as the driving force for better treatments and a cure. In just one night, the country's largest lupus fundraising event raised over $2.5 million – with every dollar going directly to support lupus research. The organization unveiled its iconic new symbol in grand style, marking its identity as the catalyst, champion and creator of scientific innovation in lupus and autoimmune disease.
Lupus Research Alliance Chairman and CEO of the New York Jets, Robert Wood "Woody" Johnson IV, co-hosted the evening with Vice-Chair Richard K. DeScherer, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, Bloomberg L.P. along with founding Board members Robert Pittman, Chairman and CEO, iHeartMedia, Inc. and Carol Weisman, long-time supporter and lupus patient. As emcee, Emmy-winning journalist, lupus advocate and devoted mom to her daughter with lupus, Brenda Blackmon charmed the crowd with her vivacious warmth.
Freda-Lewis Hall, MD, DFAPA, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer accepted the Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of Pfizer Inc for their ongoing dedication to improving lupus treatment. "Our commitment to patients with lupus is tied closely to our mission to develop new, safe and effective therapies, especially where there is high medical need. We are proud to collaborate with the Lupus Research Alliance because together we are stronger and smarter than either of us alone."
"We recognize Pfizer tonight as an exceptional partner in the lupus community," said Mr. Johnson. "The company's vision closely aligns with our own – to apply the finest science to improve health across the globe. And we share a deep commitment to work not just for the patient, but with the patient to develop the best possible treatments."
All 18 members of the Lupus Research Alliance Founding Board of Directors were honored for their visionary leadership in uniting the Alliance for Lupus Research, Lupus Research Institute and S.L.E. Lupus Foundation into one organization with a singular quest to free the world of lupus through the power of science.
"Tonight we recognize the leaders who spearheaded this historic merger," noted Mr. DeScherer. "Every person on our Board either has lupus or cares deeply about someone who does. That personal connection is transformed directly into action to accelerate the emerging science we need to find better treatments and a cure."
Watch this video to experience the enthusiasm of the 600 guests in the room as the new symbol and identity of the new Lupus Research Alliance came to life in its very first public appearance.
Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. 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 Alliance
Born from the merger of three organizations with a common belief in the potential for science to overcome lupus, the Lupus Research Alliance is at the forefront of driving innovative research that can make a difference for people living with the prototypical autoimmune disease. With that shared conviction, the Board of Directors promises to fund all the organization's administrative and fundraising costs, ensuring that 100% of all public donations go directly to funding research programs to realize our vision of a world free from lupus.
More information can be found at www.lupusresearch.org.
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SOURCE Lupus Research Alliance