Essa notícia relaciona-se a uma conversa com uma ex-residente que deve estar no momento acertando sua vida em uma nova casa no exterior onde estagiará em serviço especializado em lupus eritematoso. Concluímos que as pesquisas com lúpus não avançaram porque a indústria farmacêutica não tinha opção alguma ao conhecido esquema corticóide e imunossupressor.
O lupus é uma doença muito comum entre as brasileiras, acredito que com prevalência superior à da população americana. Agora, a Big Pharma acordou do erro em não dedicar pesquisa específica ao lupus eritematoso. Além do erro da taxa de prevalência que o artigo abaixo alega, também há uma hipótese sobre a distribuição social da doença lúpica, que seria muito mais frequente em mulheres pobres.
Abaixo, o parte de artigo do The Wall Street Journal de hoje;
Drugs in Testing Show Promise for Lupus New Treatments TargetDisease, Not Just Symptoms;First Big Advances in 50 Years By HEATHER WON TESORIEROJanuary 23, 2007; Page D1 Several drug makers are in advanced-stage trials for lupus drugs. Human Genome Sciences Inc. will begin enrolling patients in the next two weeks in the largest ever late-stage lupus trial, following positive results in earlier testing; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is conducting lupus trials on Orencia, its rheumatoid arthritis drug; and Genentech Inc. and Biogen Idec Inc. are conducting late-stage trials on Rituxan, a cancer drug that has been used off-label for lupus. See what lupus treatments are available and what's in the pipeline. For many years, lupus wasn't well understood by doctors, and can still be difficult to diagnose. There has been no drug that targets the disease itself, and doctors have been able to only treat complications. Growing Market With the lack of remedies for the disorder, the government began investing more heavily in lupus research and now spends roughly $89 million a year on the disease. As results emerged, doctors and researchers saw clues into how lupus works in the body's cells. And, while no reliable numbers on growth exist -- a deficit Dr. Lim's patient registry aims to fill -- experts agree the lupus population has expanded along with better diagnoses. In turn, some drug companies began to pay more attention to the disorder. "Drug companies weren't interested in it because they thought it was a small market," Gary Gilkeson, head of the medical and scientific board of the Lupus Foundation of America, says. "They realized that was wrong." By one estimate, the lupus drug market, which was $300 million in 2005, could reach $1.3 billion in 2015 if the potential treatments prove to be efficacious. There's now a horserace among a few drug companies to be the first one in 50 years to gain approval to make and market a lupus drug. There are currently four drugs in late-stage lupus trials, as well as two being tested for lupus nephritis. Most of these drugs are monoclonal antibodies, which attempt to target the cells that contribute to the damaging antibodies. Early results for a trial for Lymphostat-B, a collaboration between Human Genome Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline PLC, showed to reduce lupus disease activity. Now, the new international trial will enroll more than 1,600 patients to try and confirm the findings. Bristol-Myers is conducting late-stage trials with Orencia, its rheumatoid arthritis drug that came out in the U.S. last year, to see if it helps lupus patients. The international trial will enroll 180 to 190 patients. Orencia, which is administered about every 28 days via a 30-minute intravenous infusion, targets T-cells, which are believed to have a major hand in inflammation. And Genentech in collaboration with Biogen Idec is going ahead with plans to test Rituxan, a blockbuster cancer and rheumatoid arthritis drug, in lupus patients, both with and without lupus nephritis. The lupus trial will enroll 250 patients and the nephritis trial will enroll 140. Last month, the FDA issued a warning following two deaths from a viral infection of lupus patients using the drug off-label. Doctors and analysts took heed, but say that they're still hopeful that the drug will be approved, noting that because lupus patients have compromised immune systems, it's impossible to determine whether Rituxan was responsible. Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corp. is testing anti-organ-rejection treatment CellCept for lupus nephritis. CellCept, a drug for organ transplant recipients, is often prescribed off-label to lupus patients. Results from the first phase of its late-stage trials are expected this year