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World Lupus Day

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    Friday is World Lupus Day, an opportunity to raise awareness of a disease which is still not well understood and requires continued investment in research.

    Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a severe autoimmune disease affecting between 20 and 70 people per 100,0001 . The disease is difficult to diagnose because symptoms can come and go, and there is no single test that definitively identifies the illness.

    It is further complicated by the fact that symptoms are similar to those of other conditions and that no two cases are exactly alike. For this reason, treatment of lupus can also vary from patient to patient.

    Lupus is an immunological condition, meaning the body’s immune system – which normally protects against infection – can attack the body’s own tissues and organs.

    Who is affected? More than 90% of lupus patients are women of childbearing age. They suffer from intense fatigue, joint pain, memory problems and skin rashes.

    Despite the need to control symptoms, managing lupus is far from straightforward as the root cause of the disease is not well understood and only one new drug has been approved for lupus in the past 50 years.

    At UCB we have been investing in research which we hope could lead to therapies for lupus in the years ahead. For us, this investment in science demonstrates our commitment to supporting patients with severe diseases.  


    Reference
    1. Pons-Estel GJ, Alarcon GS, Scofield L, et al. Understanding the epidemiology and progression of systemic lupus erythematosus. Semin Arthritis Rheum 2010;39:257-68.

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