Collaborating for Lupus and for Patients
March has been National Autoimmune Disease Awareness month, a month dedicated to increasing awareness and bringing greater focus to the myriad of immune diseases that affect more than 50 million Americans. At Janssen, we are focused on deepening our understanding of such complex diseases and advancing science to discover and develop innovative therapies for people living with immunologic diseases, while we also work toward a future where we hope to eliminate many of these devastating diseases altogether.
I was honored to be part of a panel discussion on March 15th at the Research!America 28th Annual Meeting of Members in Washington, D.C. on the topic of lupus, an immune-mediated disease that affects some 1.5 million Americans. We discussed the need for continued research, an optimism for more targeted next generation treatments and the opportunity for greater collaboration among the life science industry, the medical community, professional/advocacy organizations, government and most importantly, patients.
Personally, I was moved and inspired by Allie Gutshall, one of the panelists and a patient advocate for the Lupus Foundation of America. Allie provided a firsthand account of how an immune disease can significantly impact and interrupt an individual’s life, recounting her diagnosis in college and detailing how lupus halted and changed her career plans to serve in the Peace Corps. When you have an opportunity to listen to such a personal account, it’s deeply motivating, and it inspires you to work harder for the many women and men like Allie who are living with an immune disease. We have a responsibility to address their needs through continued biomedical research and innovation, working together.
Like Research!America, at Janssen, we believe through strong collaborations, together, we can improve the health and well-being of people living with chronic, complex diseases, not only in the U.S., but around the world. And that’s the approach we continue to take as we work to innovate on behalf of patients living with immune diseases like lupus every day and reshape the future of immunology.
Sue Dillon, PhD, is Global Therapeutic Area Head, Immunology Research & Development at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson