Over 300 Therapies in Development for Autoimmune Disorders, Including Lupus

Ines Martins, PhD avatar

by Ines Martins, PhD |

Share this article:

Share article via email
blisibimod clinical trial

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) released a new report highlighting the progress in the fight against autoimmune diseases, including lupus.

The report, “Medicines in Development for Autoimmune Diseases: A Report on Autoimmune Diseases,” states that America’s biopharmaceutical research companies now have 311 medicines and vaccines in clinical trials or awaiting review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat several autoimmune diseases.

The report mentions a new monoclonal antibody medicine that is being developed to treat lupus. The unnamed antibody acts against a protein in the body, which is thought to play a key role in the development of the disease. This protein helps regulate the immune system’s activity, and by inhibiting it, this new antibody is expected to halt lupus development.

Despite the fact that there is still a lot to learn regarding autoimmune diseases, the scientific and medical communities are now closer to fully understanding these disorders. Today, more than 80 autoimmune diseases have been identified, including lupus, psoriasis, and celiac disease.

New scientific projects are focusing on finding out more about the triggers of these conditions, such as how environmental elements can turn the immune system against normal cells and tissues.

“The question of why the immune system in some people attacks healthy cells remains top of mind for biopharmaceutical researchers striving to discover new treatments and cures for the 23.5 million Americans affected by an autoimmune disease,” Stephen J. Ubl, PhRMA’s president and CEO, said in a press release.

“While there are a number of challenges in diagnosing and treating these diseases, the significant progress that has been made in the last decade provides hope for the future,” Ubl said.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects nearly 1.5 million Americans, and it is estimated that more than 16,000 new cases of the disease are reported every year. Specifically for lupus, there are now 39 medicines (or vaccines) currently in development.

For other conditions such as arthritis, including juvenile idiopathic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, the number rises to 76. For inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, there are 58 new treatments underway. And, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis have 34 and 32 new medications, respectively, currently in development.