Lupus Research Institute Leads Scientific Discovery, Innovation, Future Hope for Patients with Devastating Disease

Pioneering Organization Demonstrates 80% Success Rate by LRI-Funded Researchers, Generates $100 Million in Follow-On Funding in First 10 Years

NEW YORK, NY – October 18, 2010 – Today, the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) released results from the organization’s first scientific research impact report entitled, “A Decade of Impact in Lupus Research – Driving Discovery through Innovation.”  The results from the report demonstrate a significant impact in lupus research, which has seen no new treatment options approved in 50 years.

With its unconventional approach, the LRI has accelerated the pace of discovery and created a robust platform for scientific innovation that has grown the pool of investigators dedicated to lupus. Forty percent of LRI-funded researchers were brought to the field from other disciplines to work on lupus. The LRI has also leveraged a $22 million research investment into $100 million in follow-on funding and, ultimately, is responsible for several of the most pivotal findings in lupus research over the past decade. In fact, 80 percent of LRI-funded investigators have published their discoveries in top peer-reviewed journals and/or obtained major follow-on funding, quickly leading to the filing or approval of seven patents for new biomarkers or therapeutic approaches as a result of LRI-funded research.

“The Lupus Research Institute was founded on the principle that the private sector has the unique opportunity to pursue new and creative scientific approaches to lupus research that may often fall outside of the standard scope of federally funded research,” said Margaret Dowd, President and CEO of the LRI. “These novel research concepts offer a foundation for developing a new and deeper understanding of this complex and understudied disease, and we are proud to be the driving force behind such discovery and innovation.”

This report, which is available at www.lupusresearchinstitute.org/driving-discovery, outlines the organization’s accomplishments in its first decade and represents an independent review of funded and completed projects to evaluate the success and impact of LRI’s unorthodox and vigorous approach to lupus research. Other highlights from the scientific research impact report include:

Funding Successful Research and Driving Discovery

  • Results have been published in 123 original peer-reviewed research papers, including 30 landmark papers
  • LRI research has been cited over 4,000 times by researchers in the field

Changing the Field by Spurring the Growth of Lupus Research

  • 40% of LRI-funded researchers came from other disciplines to work on lupus
  • 80% of researchers new to lupus have remained in the field
  • 220 scientists are now working on research that was spurred by the LRI

Leveraging LRI-Funded Studies -- $22 Million Generates $100 Million

  • $100 million in follow-on funding for lupus research was secured from the LRI’s $22 million investment
  • Includes $84 million awarded from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Translating Discoveries into New Treatments, Delivering Hope to Patients

  • 20% of LRI grant holders already have embarked on pathways translating novel research to the clinic


About Lupus

Lupus—systemic lupus erythematosus—is a chronic and often disabling autoimmune disease that is estimated to affect more than 1.5 million Americans.  Ninety percent of people living with lupus are women, with the majority being of childbearing age. People with lupus suffer from symptoms including fever, intense fatigue and exhaustion, joint pains, cognitive problems and skin rashes.  No two cases of lupus are alike, and the effects of the disease can range from kidney disease, premature heart disease, stroke or lung inflammation. There is no known cause or cure for lupus, and no new treatments have been approved for lupus in 50 years.  For some patients, current treatments can often be toxic and more damaging than the disease itself

About the Lupus Research Institute
The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) is the nation’s only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to novel research in lupus, with the belief that innovative research is the key to finding safer and more effective treatments and a cure for lupus.  In late 1999, as 1.5 million Americans faced the pain and devastation of lupus, patients, families and the nation’s leading researchers came together to establish the LRI. With a bold approach and rigorous standards, such as funding innovative research approaches, recruiting new scientists to the field and driving translation of science into the clinic, the LRI is making the breakthroughs that spell compelling new hope for patients worldwide who suffer from this devastating autoimmune illness.