NEW YORK, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) today is hosting the first international conference devoted to advancing new treatments for lupus nephritis, a serious kidney complication of lupus affecting up to 60 percent of patients. The conference launched a new international alliance of researchers specializing in lupus nephritis – the Lupus Nephritis Trials Network (LNTN).
More than 50 of the world's top experts on lupus and the kidney came together to focus on two critical questions: 1) Which new medicines have the greatest potential to treat lupus nephritis; 2) How should these medications be tested in clinical trials?
LRI Partners with LNTN for New Lupus Treatments
The conference is a part of an ongoing partnership between the LNTN and the LRI. LNTN unites over 100 academic investigators from around the world to conduct clinical trials in lupus nephritis and to simplify the process of testing new drugs by developing standardized clinical trial methods. The Network has already secured U.S. government and European Union funding for three trials of new approaches to the treatment of lupus nephritis.
"We are grateful to the Lupus Research Institute for being a founding supporter of LNTN and for sponsoring this meeting, a first in the field of lupus nephritis," noted Betty Diamond, MD, Center for Autoimmune and Musculoskeletal Diseases at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. "Concentrating on highly innovative approaches, the Network is addressing a pressing need for safer and more effective treatments."
"The LRI and LNTN are natural allies in the fight against kidney damage caused by lupus," commented Margaret Dowd, President and CEO of the Lupus Research Institute. "This conference demonstrates how breakthrough discoveries the LRI funded in lupus nephritis are informing the development of new treatments and accelerating clinical trials."
Lupus nephritis is one of the most common and most serious complications of lupus potentially causing kidney failure if uncontrolled. An estimated one-third to one-half of lupus patients develops lupus nephritis within the first six months to three years of their lupus diagnosis. There is no cure for lupus nephritis, and current treatments rely on anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs that carry the risk of serious side effects.
Lupus is a chronic, complex and prevalent autoimmune disease that affects more than 1.5-million Americans. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that attack the body's own tissues and organs.
About the Lupus Research Institute
The Lupus Research Institute (LRI), the world's leading private supporter of innovative research, pioneers discovery and champions scientific creativity to find solutions to lupus. The LRI's advocacy arm is its National Patient Coalition, a powerful network of state and local lupus organizations in large urban centers of the country that unite to prevent, treat and cure lupus by advocating for lupus on Capitol Hill.
SOURCE Lupus Research Institute