Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
Lupus is a debilitating auto-immune disease, predominantly affecting women between 15 and 40 years of age, and the black population, although early diagnosis is difficult due to the large array of symptoms. The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that various forms of this disease affect 1.5 million in the US, and 5 million worldwide (LFA).
The body’s immune system, which normally defends against bacteria, viruses and other invaders, triggers abnormal antibodies (called auto-antibodies) that attack the patient’s own healthy tissues, as if it were an infection. The symptoms of the disease are tissue inflammation, sometimes specifically of a single organ such as the thyroid, and more commonly systemic, of all or several organs, such as the skin, connective tissue of joints, kidneys, liver, heart and brain.
Treatments to date are immunosuppressive, with important side effects since they also weaken overall immunity, which makes patients more susceptible to infections and other diseases.
However, all of this is about to change with the 2018 scheduled marketing of Lupuzor™ (rigerimod or P140), a small peptide drug that modulates the rogue production of antibodies, while leaving the immune system otherwise inact, and thus halts the progression of the disease. A new treatment and hope exist for the thousands of people suffering from this devastating disease.
This invention, consisting of a modified peptide, is recited in the following 4 European patents, awarded to Sylviane Muller and her colleagues, researchers at the CNRS Institute of molecular and cellular biology, in Strasbourg France:
- EP1425295 titled Modified peptides and their use for the treatment of autoimmune diseases
- EP1631586 titled Peptide analogues comprising at least one type of aminoacyl aza-beta 3 and the use thereof, in particular for therapy
- EP1507794 titled Novel multimeric molecules, the preparation method thereof and use of same for the preparation of medicaments
- EP0491014 titled Sm-D antigen peptides and their use, in particular, for the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus.
The EPO video below spotlights Sylviane Muller, and tells the story of this potential blockbuster drug.
CDC - Lupus detailed Fact Sheet
CDC - Lupus Registries and Longitudinal Studies
Clinical Trials.org – Lupuzor
ImunoPharma (different from ImmunoPharma.net)
Lupus Drug candidate Lupuzor™ pivotal Phase 3 Clinical Trial doses first European patients
Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) - National Resource Center on Lupus (Facts & Statistics)
WHO - Principles and methods for studying autoimmunity associated with exposure to chemicalshttp://www.who.int/ipcs/publications/ehc/ehc236.pdf?ua=1