Oct. 18, 2013

US Department of Defense Provides Another $1.8 Million to Support Research on Lupus

Lupus Foundation of America efforts to date have stimulated $14 million for lupus research through the Congressionally Directed Peer Review Medical Research Program


(WASHINGTON, DC) October 18, 2013 - Officials with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Congressionally Directed Peer Review Medical Research Program have posted notice of two new research grant awards aimed at solving the cruel mystery of lupus.  Immunomedics, Inc. a New Jersey based biopharmaceutical company will receive a three-year grant of more than $1.6 million to evaluate milatuzumab as a potential treatment for patients with lupus.  SRI International, a nonprofit research institute located in Menlo Park, California, will receive a grant of nearly $250,000 for research to evaluate ways to prevent B cells from producing “self-antibodies” as one possible approach to stopping lupus. 

These two grants bring the total DOD support for lupus research to $14 million since 2005, when the Lupus Foundation of America successfully advocated to have lupus included among the diseases eligible for funding through the Congressionally Directed Peer Review Medical Research Program.  The program to date has awarded 16 grants for lupus research.

The award to Immunomedics, Inc. will support a clinical study of milatuzumab, a humanized anti-CD74 antibody, in approximately 30 people with lupus.  The trial will be conducted at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

SRI International’s research will determine if inhibiting a B cell signaling molecule, called PI3 kinase, can prevent the production of autoantibodies. The investigators will also research whether blocking this molecule will have an effect on a B cell survival mechanism, called BAFF, also known as Blys.

Expanding federal support for lupus research is an integral part of the Lupus Foundation of America’s national research program.  The Foundation’s research program employs a unique multi-disciplinary approach: lead scientific initiatives, fund lupus researchers, and advocate for expanded public and private investment in research on lupus.

With the support of the nation’s largest network of lupus activists, the Foundation aggressively works to secure increased investment in research from public and private sources.  Our advocacy efforts have generated nearly $42 million in new Congressional appropriations to fund specific lupus research studies. These funds have enabled lupus research studies that otherwise may not have been possible - many of which have the potential to lead to the next important breakthrough.

About the Lupus Foundation of America

The Lupus Foundation of America is the only national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, one of the world’s cruelest, most unpredictable, and devastating diseases, while giving caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact.  Through a comprehensive program of research, education, and advocacy, we lead the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus.  With the support of the nation’s largest network of lupus activists, we aggressively work to secure increased investment in research from public and private sources. The Foundation’s advocacy efforts have generated an additional $42 million in Congressional appropriations to fund specific lupus research studies. These funds have enabled lupus research studies that otherwise may not have been possible - many of which have the potential to lead to the next important breakthrough.


Related Stories

General News | Jul. 12, 2013

Activists Heard! Senate Committee Boosts Lupus Research Funding

Senate Appropriations Committee approves a draft of the fiscal year (FY) 2014 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill.

General News | May. 16, 2013

Lupus Educational Curriculum Developed to Address Diagnosis Challenges

A new medical education curriculum to help medical professionals make early diagnosis of lupus has been unveiled by representatives of The Lupus Initiative in Washington, DC.