SOURCE: Lupus Foundation of America

Lupus Foundation of America

June 04, 2015 14:09 ET

Lupus Activists Urge Congress to Expand Critical Research Funding and Accelerate Development of Lupus Treatments

Lupus Foundation of America Hosts Awards Dinner & 21st Century Cures Discussion

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - June 04, 2015) - On June 16, nearly 200 lupus activists from across the country will visit Capitol Hill and thousands more will join virtually to urge members of Congress to support at least $32 billion in research funding for the National Institutes of Health and to elevate lupus on the nation's health care agenda. Despite the widespread prevalence of lupus, medical research has remained underfunded relative to its scope and devastation.

As part of the Lupus Foundation of America's National Lupus Advocacy Summit, activists will also call on Congress to support provisions under the 21st Century Cures and Innovations for Healthier Americans legislation. The legislation has the potential to improve the drug development process and bring new and vital treatments forward for people with chronic diseases like lupus. Only one drug has ever been developed specifically to treat lupus and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

"We urge everyone to contact their members of Congress and join us in the call to action for increased funding for lupus research and to accelerate the pace of development for lupus treatments," said Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America. "The stories of lupus activists bring to life the daily, devastating impact of this disease and demonstrate the urgent need to elevate lupus to a place of prominence and secure additional funding for lupus research needed to develop an arsenal of treatments for people with lupus."

The two-day event will culminate with the Foundation's National Advocacy Awards Dinner that evening featuring an exclusive "Capitol Conversation on 21st Century Cures" moderated by Chuck Todd, Host of Meet the Press and NBC News Political Director. Panelists including leaders from Congress, federal agencies, industry and the research community will discuss how to accelerate cures for lupus and other chronic diseases.

Panelists and award recipients include:

Congressional Champion Award

The Honorable Fred Upton
United States House of Representatives
Chairman, Committee on Energy & Commerce

National Advocacy Leadership Awards

Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD
National Institutes of Health

Mary Woolley
President & Chief Executive Officer

John J. Castellani
President & Chief Executive Officer
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

Susan M. Manzi, MD, MPH
Chair, Department of Medicine
Allegheny Health Network

Sponsors of the National Advocacy Awards Dinner include:

Diamond Sponsors: Genentech, Lilly, Pfizer, PhRMA

Platinum Sponsors: GlaxoSmithKline, Mallinckrodt, Piper Jaffray & Co., Ambassador Louis B. and Marjorie S. Susman, UCB

Media Sponsor: The Hill

About Lupus

Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with, and a challenge to treat. Lupus is a cruel mystery because it is hidden from view and undefined, has a range of symptoms, strikes without warning, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. Lupus is debilitating and destructive and can be fatal, yet research on lupus has not kept pace with research for other diseases of similar scope and devastation. For more information, visit

About the Lupus Foundation of America

The Lupus Foundation of America is the only national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, one of the world's cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases, while giving caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. Through a comprehensive program of research, education, and advocacy, we lead the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus.

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