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Lupus Treatments Possible with Identification of High Risk Haplotype

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Emily Baechler Gillespie, PhD
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Raj Udupa
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Patent Protection
US Patent 8,148,074

Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus Autoimmune Disease and Treatments

Researchers have identified a high-risk genetic combination of DNA sequences, called a haplotype, for systemic lupus erythmatosus (SLE). Systemic lupus erythmatosus is the most common form of lupus and the most serious. Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. There is currently no cure for lupus, but the disease is manageable by treating the symptoms associated with it. This risk haplotype for SLE alters the gene associated with over expression of the protein IRF-5 compared to individuals not carrying the risk haplotype.

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Identification of High Risk Haplotype Leads to Treatment and Possible Cure for Lupus

The identification of the causal mechanism of lupus has the potential to generate a cure for the disease. A genetic therapy or treatment targeting the at-risk haplotype would prevent flares of lupus and block symptoms from showing. Treatments for this disease would focus on the splice patterns of the haplotype and the over expression of IRF-5 to mute the disease. Such a treatment could greatly improve the lives of patients suffering from lupus. These patients currently endure multiple treatments and therapies for their symptoms and experience shorter lives. The method for developing a new treatment for Lupus could be useful in finding treatments for other autoimmune diseases with similar mechanisms.

BENFITS OF IDENTIFYING THE HIGH RISK HAPLOTYPE FOR LUPUS AND DEVELOPING NEW TREATMENTS

  • Haplotype can be used to generate treatment and cure for the disease
  • Over expression of IRF-5 could be targeted to treat flares of lupus
  • Reduces need for patients to treat recurring symptoms
  • Treatments could contain potential applications for other autoimmune diseases