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R&D Targets Autoimmune Conditions.

WASHINGTON -- Biopharmaceutical companies are leading the push to demystify autoimmune diseases, according to a new report, which identifies 311 medicines and vaccines in clinical trials or pending Food and Drug Administration review for individuals with autoimmune diseases.

The report, "Medicines in Development for Autoimmune Diseases," was released earlier this month by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the Lupus Foundation of America. The report finds "tremendous progress" has been made in the fight against autoimmune diseases.

Much remains to be learned about autoimmune diseases and their causes, but biopharmaceutical companies are leading the charge to advance knowledge about these diseases, PhRMA and the foundation assert in a statement. "Today, more than 80 autoimmune diseases have been identified, including psoriasis, lupus and celiac disease. And new scientific advances continue to reveal details that are spurring the development of innovative approaches to treating these diseases, such as how environmental elements can trigger the immune system to attack normal cells."

The question of why the immune system in some people attacks healthy cells remains top of mind for biopharmaceutical researchers striving to discover new treatments and cures for the 23.5 million Americans affected by an autoimmune disease, comments Stephen Ubl, president and chief executive officer of PhRMA. "While there are a number of challenges in diagnosing and treating these diseases, the significant progress that has been made in the last decade provides hope for the future."

The report finds 76 treatments are in development for autoimmune types of arthritis. There are 58 treatments in development for inflammatory bowel diseases, 34 potential treatments for type 1 diabetes and 32 possible remedies for multiple sclerosis under development.

"One autoimmune disease, lupus, affects approximately 1.5 million Americans, and it is estimated that more than 16,000 new cases of lupus are repotted each year," PhRMA and the foundation assert. "An arsenal of medications is needed to treat the complexities of the disease, but the 39 medicines in development to treat lupus are providing those impacted by the disease with new hope."

"Lupus is the prototypical autoimmune disease, and medical research on lupus may provide clues to the causes of this immune dysregulation and ultimately find cures for people with lupus as well as other autoimmune diseases," comments Sandra Raymond, president and chief executive officer of the Lupus Foundation of America. "We've made great progress with the help of biopharmaceutical researchers, and we remain committed to working with all stakeholders to find new treatments that will improve the overall health and well-being of patients with lupus."

The foundation is the only national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, which it characterizes as one of the world's cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases. The organization also provides care and support to those who suffer from lupus.

PhRMA represents leading U.S. biopharmaceutical research firms. Since 2000, its member companies have invested more than half a trillion dollars in the search for treatments and cures.

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Title Annotation:RX: Branded Drugs
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Date:Sep 26, 2016
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