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Category: Autoimmune Diseases
Promising new studies have inspired hope for the release of the first new lupus drug in 50 years, just as the disease is back in the news due to the death of Michael Jackson, who had a form of lupus confined to the skin.
Human Genome Sciences has reported their experimental lupus drug, marketed under the name Benlysta, helped more than half of the patients who were treated with it, bringing some hope for a new therapy to the lupus community. As with most autoimmune diseases, lupus cannot be cured, but can be treated.
"People have been waiting an awfully long time for good news" like this, Sandra Raymond, president of the Lupus Foundation of America, told the LA Times.
There are about 1.5 million people in the U.S. who have lupus, according to the foundation, the great majority of them women between 15 and 45. Lupus is usually diagnosed with a detailed medical history, a physical exam and blood tests. The antinuclear antibodies test is most commonly used to confirm a diagnosis.
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