In observance of World Lupus Day and Lupus Awareness Month, Aurinia Pharmaceuticals has announced disease awareness and educational initiatives aimed at supporting patients with lupus nephritis, a serious complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
World Lupus Day was May 10, and Lupus Awareness Month is marked throughout May. Lupus nephritis (inflammation of the kidney) is one of the most serious complications of SLE and occurs in up to 60 percent of patients globally.
Initiatives include an Aurinia partnership with MyLupusTeam, a social network for lupus patients, to launch the Lupus Nephritis Resource Center. The online resource includes articles on living with lupus nephritis, in addition to disease information, treatments, and self-assessment tests.
Throughout May, Aurinia is inviting the lupus nephritis community to encourage patients by sending upbeat, motivational, and even humorous notes to their kidneys. Called “Send a Message to Your Kidneys,” the campaign is led by ALL IN, the pharmaceutical company’s educational program and support community.
On the ALL IN website, for example, “Debbi” wrote, “Hey kidney, I want you to know we’re in this together. I will do everything in my power to see that we make it.” A message from “Janet” states, “Dear kidneys, I’m disappointed that you have failed me. I feel I was blindsided and didn’t get the chance to work with you. Dialysis is tough. Sorry, but I have to replace you.”
Go here to submit a message, or to read other messages.
Aurinia also worked with national and local patient organizations to develop a Lupus Awareness Month calendar that offers patients suggestions, resources, and event information. On May 21, for instance, patients are urged to view a Lupus Foundation of America video on becoming one’s own advocate.
Eric Peacock, co-founder and chief executive officer of MyHealthTeams, said it’s crucial that lupus nephritis patients are empowered to better discuss with physicians risk factors, symptoms, and testing.
“Members of MyLupusTeam, who are experiencing symptoms of [lupus nephritis], want information that will help them better understand the condition, and they value the connection with others facing similar challenges,” he said in a news release.
Brad Dickerson, Aurinia’s general manager/Americas and global commercial assessment, said: “As a company with a deep history in researching LN, Aurinia is committed to continuing to raise awareness and education around this condition.”
A late clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, Aurinia is leading a Phase 3 trial, called AURORA (NCT03021499), of the investigational medicine voclosporin as a lupus nephritis treatment. Top-line results are expected by year’s end.