One of the world’s largest contract research organizations (CROs), PPD, Inc. (Nasdaq:PPD) has aligned with Lupus Therapeutics (LT), an affiliate of the Lupus Research Alliance to collaborate in an endeavor to expand and enhance lupus clinical research for PPD’s industry sponsor clients (e.g. pharmaceutical companies). LT is known for deep clinical trials expertise. In this new partnership, PPD will leverage generalized clinical trials expertise such as offering enhanced protocol and trial optimization capabilities while it will count on LT’s scientific, operational and drug development expertise, as well as LT’s preferred investigators and Lupus Clinical Investigators Network (LuCIN) sites. By linking with PPD, LT can provide patients with greater access to novel medicines and care.
The Disease & Lupus Therapeutics Targets
A chronic condition which leads to a person’s immune system attacking his/her own tissues and organs, eventually causing inflammation that can significantly damage any part of the body. Difficult to diagnose, the conditions’ signs and symptoms can vary greatly and confuse diagnoses.
Lupus’ frequency is approximately 2-7 per 10,000. The prognosis for the disease is about 15 years with about an 80% survival rate. The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that 1.5 million Americans have lupus and that approximately 5 million are afflicted with the disease worldwide. 9 out of every 10 adults with lupus are women. There are four types of lupus and the disease can lead to death.
Lupus Therapeutics targets SLE, lupus nephritis, chronic cutaneous (discold) lupus, subacute cutaneous lupus, acute cutaneous lupus, and central nervous system lupus.
Synergistic Combination for Lupus Research
With this new partnership, PPD will now have more seamless access to 50 LuCIN research sites with over 200 affiliated investigators: these doctors are caring for over 20,000 active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients.
PPD brings its immunology team to the partnership: inclusive of lupus subject matter expertise and board-certified rheumatologists with industry and in-house experience during efficacy reviews, safety monitoring and site training for SLE trials.
Industry Sponsors Benefit
PPD’s pharmaceutical and biotech clients (industry sponsors) can benefit from this cooperation. For example, the LT Patient Advocates for Lupus Studies (PALS) program involves patient-to-patient interactions, which go a long way to contribute to improvements in patient clinical trial education and awareness for ongoing trial activities at participating LT centers. This kind of patient engagement can make a real difference within patient communities.
Albert T. Roy, executive director for LT, reports, “With the urgent need for new lupus treatments, we look forward to working with PPD on ways to accelerate and optimize the development of lupus clinical research.” This should be quite attractive to sponsors with lupus drug pipelines. For example, by combining PPD’s reach and depth with LT’s focus and domain expertise, the two can significantly increase the efficiency of lupus related trials while in parallel offer a compelling model for engagement with the lupus community.
PPD is a leading global contract research organization offering comprehensive, integrated drug development, laboratory and lifecycle management services. PPD works with the largest pharmaceutical companies, biotech and medical devices as well as major academic medical centers and government agencies. The company has offices in 46 countries and 24,000 professionals worldwide. Like all top tier CROs, PPD offers a suite of technology solutions to accelerate clinical trials as well as therapeutic expertise while continuously maintaining impactful quality groups to help customers bend the cost and time curve of drug development and optimize value in delivering life-changing therapies to improve health.
Lupus Therapeutics is an affiliate of the Lupus Research Alliance, which aims to transform treatment while advancing toward a cure by financing the most innovative lupus research in the world. The organization’s stringent peer review grant process fosters diverse scientific talent that is driving discovery toward better diagnostics, improved treatments, and ultimately a cure for lupus. Because the Lupus Research Alliance board of directors fund all administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of all donations goes to support lupus research programs.