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Alliance for Lupus Research and Lupus Research Institute Partner with National Institutes of Health to Accelerate Drug Discovery in Lupus

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SOURCE Lupus Research Institute; Alliance for Lupus Research

Lupus Research Organizations Welcome Big-Science Push to Drive New Therapies for Lupus Patients

NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) and the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) are proud to join the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) launched today to speed new paths to treatment for lupus and autoimmune diseases.

The new $230 million collaboration will harness the collective knowledge and resources among the NIH, biopharmaceutical companies, nonprofit organizations and academic communities. Recognizing that no new targeted therapies exist for severe lupus, the new consortia will work to better understand the disease and uncover new targets for drug development. A total of $41.6 million is allocated specifically to the autoimmune diseases lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Collaboration Pushes Discovery Forward
"We are very pleased to see the NIH build upon the deep foundation of novel scientific discovery that the lupus research organizations have accomplished over the past decade," said Margaret Dowd, President and CEO of the Lupus Research Institute. "By investing in early-stage, high-risk ideas, we have supported innovation in fundamental understanding of the disease and successfully identified a diverse range of new pathways and targets in lupus. Now the NIH partnership will propel progress further with tremendous investment and collaboration across all sectors."

Alliance for Lupus Research President Kenneth M. Farber commented, "The large-scale approach of the AMP program is necessary to critically assess which of the many novel pathways and targets implicated in lupus show the greatest promise for the development of new therapeutics. We are excited to be part of this new consortia that takes collaboration in lupus to a new level. By advancing targets, the program promises to benefit not just lupus patients but all those living with systemic autoimmune diseases."  

As members of the consortium steering committee for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, LRI and ALR will have an active role in setting the research agenda and assessing progress.

About Lupus
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and tissue damage to any organ system in the body. The health effects of lupus include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, organ failure, and possible death.

About the ALR
The Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) is a national voluntary health organization dedicated to finding better treatments and ultimately preventing and curing systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, or lupus), a debilitating autoimmune disease. The organization is based in New York City and chaired by Robert Wood Johnson IV, a member of the founding family of Johnson & Johnson. Since its founding in 1999, the ALR has given more money to lupus research than any non-governmental agency in the world. The board of directors funds all administrative and fundraising costs, allowing one hundred percent of all donations from the public, to go directly to support research programs. More information can be found at www.lupusresearch.org.

About the LRI
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 discovery 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 discoveries, 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 promoting research, awareness, education and advocacy as it drives to A Life Without Lupus. For more information, visit www.lupusresearchinstitute.org.

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