Press Release

PhRMA and Lupus Foundation of America Report More Than 300 Medicines in Development for Autoimmune Diseases

Growing Understanding of Immune System and Innovative Approaches to Treatment Drive Continued Progress Against Autoimmune Diseases

PhRMA September 12, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 12, 2016) – A new report released by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and Lupus Foundation of America highlights tremendous progress in the fight against autoimmune diseases. According to the report, America’s biopharmaceutical research companies have 311 medicines and vaccines in clinical trials or pending review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for patients with autoimmune diseases.

There remains a lot to be learned about autoimmune diseases and their cause, but biopharmaceutical companies are leading efforts to demystify these diseases. 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,” said Stephen J. 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.”

Examples of the medicines and vaccines currently in development include:

  • 76 for autoimmune types of arthritis, including juvenile idiopathic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis;
  • 58 for inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis;
  • 39 for lupus
  • 34 for type 1 diabetes
  • 32 for multiple sclerosis

One autoimmune disease, lupus, affects approximately 1.5 million Americans, and it is estimated that more than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported each year. 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.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than half a trillion dollars in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $58.8 billion in 2015 alone.

“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,” said Sandra C. Raymond, president and CEO 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 wellbeing of patients with lupus.”

View "Medicines in Development for Autoimmune Diseases" here.

 About PhRMA

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than half a trillion dollars in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $58.8 billion in 2015 alone.

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