The drug treatment, LUPKYNIS® (voclosporin), reduced inflammation and prevented development of kidney damage in people with lupus nephritis (LN, lupus-related kidney disease) over 18 months. Those taking the medication also didn’t exhibit any signs of kidney-related toxicity. LUPKYINS® is a novel, structurally modified calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) that works in two ways – acting as an immunosuppressant through inhibition of T-cell activation and cytokine production, and by promoting podocyte stability in the kidney.
Congratulations to our board members, Dr. Sam Lim, Georgia State Rep. Kim Schofield and Founder Bryant Reid for being named Community Service awardees at the Phenomenal Women’s Health Annual Fundraising Tea.
(Pictured in the photo above l to r: Kim Schofield – Georgia State Representative, Teri Edmond – CEO of Lupus Foundation of America Georgia Chapter, Cheryl Burnside – CEO of Phenomenal Women’s Health, Bryant Reid – President of The Reid Foundation For Lupus, Inc.)
Research shows younger people living with lupus and those living in rural or disadvantaged areas are less likely to have a follow-up appointment with their doctor shortly after they’ve been discharged from the hospital. One quarter of people with lupus are hospitalized every year, and one-third are re-hospitalized within 30 days, underscoring the importance of timely outpatient care.
Looking at data from 8,606 adults hospitalized with lupus on Medicare, researchers found that 35% lacked follow-up within 30 days overall. That follow-up rate is worse than the rate reported among people with other chronic diseases.
People with lupus who also exhibited the following characteristics were less likely to have a timely follow-up appointment after hospital discharge:
More co-occurring illnesses
A longer hospital length-of-stay
Rural place of residency
Greater neighborhood disadvantage
In the 65 years and older cohort, receiving timely follow-up care was associated with a 65% lower mortality rate in the month following hospital discharge, highlighting the tremendous value of outpatient treatment in this population in particular.
Regular preventative and follow-up care is critically important to living well with lupus, yet many struggle to get the medical support they need. Learn more about barriers to lupus diagnosis and care.
Article Credit: Lupus Foundation of America | lupus.org
In the M19-130 Phase 2 trial of RINVOQ, the drug met its primary endpoint either given alone or as a combination therapy to people with moderately or severely active lupus disease. The drug was given to five groups, a total of 341 people, and none of the trial participants exhibited any new safety issues with the treatment.
Continue to follow the Lupus Foundation of America for updates on RINVOQ as well as other lupus clinical trials.
In a new study, organ damage was associated with worse cognitive performance in people with lupus. Cognitive dysfunction (CD) or “brain fog ” is a functional impairment whereby an individual exhibits deficits in attention, learning (verbal and nonverbal), memory (short-term and working), problem solving, motor (physical) function, processing speed, visual and auditory processing. At some point during their lives, 70-80% of people with lupus experience brain fog.
Researchers examined the disease and treatment records of 89 people with lupus. They found that organ damage was consistently associated with CD, and resulted in poorer performance in three of seven tests traditionally given to assess cognition. The researchers examined other markers of disease activity, blood test results, and genetic involvement for possible association to CD and none were found. CD can occur in people with lupus who do not exhibit high disease activity at a given point in time. Cognitive screening is important as prevalence of CD was identified by formal testing in only 8% of the group.
One of the study authors, Eric Morand, MBBS, PhD, Monash University, received the Lupus Foundation of America’s 2022 Evelyn V. Hess Award. Learn more about lupus and brain fog.
Article Credit: Lupus Foundation of America | lupus.org
In a new study, researchers found people with lupus have a unique mix of oral bacteria, or “microbiome,” that is correlated with disease activity. The oral microbiome is made up of a collection of more than 700 unique bacterial species, and disturbances in the microbiome have been linked to various inflammatory diseases. The findings from this study suggest that specific oral bacteria found in people with lupus could be used as new, non-invasive lupus biomarkers and may serve as a therapeutic target for exploring new treatment options.
The oral microbiome is a collection of bacteria that affects the progression of health and disease. To assess whether oral bacteria diversity is linked to lupus, researchers compared the characteristics of the oral microbiome in people with lupus against a healthy control group. They collected and examined tongue coating samples from 255 people with lupus and 280 controls. Compared to the people without lupus, people with lupus had significantly more diverse oral bacteria present on their tongues. Furthermore, people with lupus had higher and lower levels of certain types of bacteria that were linked to greater disease activity.
These findings suggest people with lupus have a unique oral microbiome, which could promote new methods of lupus diagnosis and monitoring. While more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between lupus and the oral microbiome, these findings will help guide future studies. Learn more about oral health issues with lupus.
Article Credit: Lupus Foundation of America | lupus.org
A new study finds therapies used to treat lupus (mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept®), tacrolimus (Protopic®), and belimumab (Benlysta®) significantly reduce a person’s response to the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID vaccine was most effective and did not trigger disease flares when vaccine administration was managed along with the person’s lupus medications. Some immunosuppressive drugs used to treat lupus increase COVID infection risk and decrease the vaccine’s effectiveness.
Researchers analyzed and compared data from 334 people with lupus and 1,887 health care workers without lupus. They examined COVID antibodyImmunoglobulin G (IgG) levels after vaccination over time in both groups. Higher IgG levels indicate a stronger immune response to the vaccine, suggesting a greater protective effect against the virus. They also looked at the effect of immunosuppressive medications on post-vaccination antibody levels in those with lupus.
The researchers found that taking mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus, and belimumab at the time of vaccination was associated with reduced IgG (COVID antibody) levels. However, temporarily stopping mycophenolate mofetil administration on the day of and for one week after the COVID vaccine resulted in increased post-vaccine IgG (COVID antibody) levels and did not lead to flare activity.
Researchers hope these data will be helpful to clinicians and help revise treatment guidelines for better outcomes in people with lupus. The Lupus Foundation of America remains committed to providing resources and support regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn about up-to-date health information on the COVID-19 vaccine for people with lupus and talk to your doctor before making any changes to your medication.
Article Credit: Lupus Foundation of America |lupus.org
The Reid Foundation for Lupus is proud to announce its first charity auction is open and accepting bids to win an incredible Super Bowl LVII Package Experience for two. The winning bidder will receive two lower level corner seats to the big game, four nights of hotel and more!
Ventus Therapeutics Inc. has announced the development of VENT-03, a potential first-in-class drug designed to target cGAS, a cell receptor linked to lupus and a broad range of other diseases including neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. This will be the first drug of its kind to advance into clinical development, and it will enter its first Phase I trial cGAS is thought to be involved in both systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE), and the latest news marks an exciting step forward in lupus drug development.
Last year, Ventus received a Lupus Research Program Idea Award from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to study the cGAS inhibitor as a potential treatment for lupus. The Lupus Foundation of America’s (LFA) advocacy efforts and strong community of advocates led the fight in establishing the DoD Lupus Research Program in 2017, successfully advocating each year for continued funding of this critical program. To date, the program has provided more than $76 million to fund high-impact, high-quality studies to help find ways to diagnose and treat lupus more effectively.
With saddened hearts, we share news of the passing of the Honorable Carrie P. Meek of Florida at age 95. Former Congresswoman Meek was a strong advocate for people with lupus, leading congressional efforts to secure funding for research and support services. She introduced and worked diligently to secure passage of the Lupus Research & Care Amendments Act of 2000. The legislation was co-sponsored by 258 members of Congress and signed into law on November 13, 2000, by President Clinton (Title V of Public Law 106-505).
The law authorized the U.S. Secretary of Health to expand research and related activities for lupus. These activities included coordinating services among federal agencies to address health disparities, increasing awareness to improve early diagnosis and treatment, and authorizing grants to federal, state, and local agencies and nonprofit organizations to expand healthcare and enhanced services for people with lupus.
Congresswoman Meek’s legislation stimulated federal agencies to expand their efforts on lupus. In 2002, for example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a landmark report showing deaths attributed to lupus had increased 70% between 1979 and 1998 among black women aged 45–64 years. Consequently, the CDC initiated strategies and funded research efforts, education programs, management activities and awareness campaigns to address health disparities in lupus.
The U.S. Department of Health (DHHS) Office on Women’s Health (OWH) initiated programs focused on improving early diagnosis and treatment among people at increased risk for lupus, including the first-of-its-kind National Ad Council campaign on lupus, “Could I have lupus?”
Other federal agencies followed OWH’s lead and stepped up their activities related to lupus, including the National Institutes of Health and the DHHS Office of Minority Health, which today continue to provide millions of dollars in federal funding for research, professional training, and public education programs and resources.
The Lupus Foundation of America, Board of Directors, and staff offer condolences to Congresswoman Meek’s family and colleagues and urge everyone with lupus to join us in expressing our sincere gratitude for her legacy of caring and support to our community.