We Lead Scientific Initiatives to Address Barriers in Lupus Drug Development

As part of our three-pronged research strategy, the Lupus Foundation of America leads scientific initiatives to address gaps in areas of lupus research that have not received adequate attention or funding.  We take on the most perplexing issues, including scientific challenges others thought too complex to overcome.

These challenges don’t daunt us.  In fact, we welcome them as part of our national leadership role to solve the cruel mystery of lupus and end its devastating impact on millions of lives worldwide.

Our Medical-Scientific Advisory Council, composed of lupus experts from many specialties, continually assesses the state of lupus research to identify the most urgent issues facing the field. We convene scientific community leaders to identify solutions and marshal resources to implement projects that have the potential to overcome barriers, accelerate clinical research, and encourage pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop new therapies for lupus.

Our initiatives have led to the following landmark accomplishments—all of which will accelerate the pace of lupus research and greatly advance the science and medicine of the disease.  

  • Development and validation of new biomarkers for lupus, providing better ways to measure disease progression.
  • Updating the classification criteria for lupus, improving the early diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
  • Research related to the epidemiology of lupus, to better understand the true incidence and prevalence of lupus and the burden of disease.

The prognosis for lupus is better than ever before.

Roadmap to Removing Barriers to Drug Development

In 2009, the Foundation commissioned a nine-month study by the nationally recognized health policy research organization, The Lewin Group, to examine barriers to lupus drug development. The report, "Overcoming Barriers to Drug Development in Lupus," is the first to detail obstacles and provide recommendations on how to overcome them.

Since the report was issued, the Foundation has been working to bring key stakeholders together to address each barrier.  These efforts have resulted in a collection of far-reaching initiatives which are linked below.

LFA-REAL System to Improve Health and Quality of Life

LFA-REAL™ (Rapid Evaluation of Activity in Lupus) is a new, first-of-its-kind tool to monitor lupus disease activity, addressing both the needs and concerns of providers and people with lupus.

LFA Collective Data Analysis Initiative (CDAI)

The initiative provides insight to improve clinical trial design so we can have the arsenal of treatments needed for people living with lupus.

LFA Flare Definition

The first global definition of a lupus flare is a valuable tool for clinicians and investigators in evaluating the effectiveness of a new treatment.

LFA Professional Online Instrument Training Program (POINT Program™)

The LFA POINT has become the gold-standard web-based training tool on lupus disease assessment instruments. Consistent use of the instruments will help improve the quality of studies on new therapies.