Lupus in the News! Lupus Research Updates, Celebrities, and More!

Wow. What a couple of weeks lupus has had in the news! Our little known (and much less understood) disease is getting all kinds of attention right now. I can't believe it! 

* First, much thanks goes to brave and courageous Selena Gomez, for sharing her personal journey with lupus with the world. You can watch her story here - part 1part 2, and part 3 of her interview on the Today show.  Hers is a powerful story - one to which many of us can relate. To hear her talk about struggling with acceptance, and her honesty about not making good decisions for the sake of her health...well...haven't we all been there? I wish her health and wellness as she recovers and rebuilds. And many congrats on her Billboard Woman of the Year award. Now if I could just get her a pillfold or two...

*Also trending in lupus news is word from the Lupus Research Alliance. They are pleased to share new data from a Phase II study that showed significant benefit for lupus. The investigational results for Stelara® were just issued by Janssen Research & Development, LLC. 

Back in 2013, the LRA (then Alliance for Lupus Research and Lupus Research Institute) initiated an ongoing drug repurposing effort to identify potential lupus treatments among medications approved for certain other autoimmune diseases. After a comprehensive review, Stelara® was their No. 1 pick among biologics. Based on this work and the need for improved care, they encouraged Janssen to test Stelara® for lupus. As noted in Janssen’s press release, 

"The Lupus Research Alliance advocated for investigating Stelara® in SLE given the limited treatment options and the high unmet medical need for patients."

Because of the positive Phase 2 results, Janssen has also announced plans to further test Stelara® in Phase 3 trials.

It is also worth noting that Ms. Gomez has continually encouraged people to visit LRA's website, which has resulted in a big boost in funding for lupus research. You can read about that here, but note that while many of us don't have as public a platform as Selena Gomez, we can still do our own part by speaking up loud and often about our disease!

*Also in the news comes word from GSK (the makers of Benlysta), who have just announced positive results from a Phase III BLISS-SC study (which stands for Benlysta Subcutaneous, meaning the drug is injected just underneath the skin). This is very exciting news, and you can read about the results and details here. Just know that Lupus R&D is alive and thriving!

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