NEW YORK, April 26, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Lupus Research Alliance today announced a collaboration between its newly formed affiliate, Lupus Therapeutics, and the pharmaceutical company, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), to test a novel investigational drug, BMS-986165, as a potential new therapy for lupus.The first of its kind to be tested in lupus, BMS-986165 is a potent and highly selective inhibitor of Tyrosine kinase 2 (Tyk2), which suppresses pathways that have been implicated in lupus. The Phase 2 global, multi-center study, sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb, will evaluate the efficacy and safety of BMS-986165 among 360 people with lupus worldwide.

Lupus Therapeutics will work in collaboration with BMS to identify U.S. sites within the Lupus Clinical Investigators Network (LuCIN) that will be included in the global phase 2 study. Recognizing the limited treatments for lupus, LuCIN was organized, managed and is funded by Lupus Therapeutics as an affiliate of the Lupus Research Alliance to address the slow pace of development of new lupus therapies. LuCIN provides a framework to quickly and cost-effectively test potential new therapies, as well as methods to diagnose and monitor response to treatment.

“There remains a desperate need for effective treatments for lupus without the serious side effects common with existing options,” noted Albert Roy, Executive Director, Lupus Therapeutics. “BMS-986165 is a very interesting and promising intervention for patients living with lupus. We are very excited to be partnering with BMS on this trial that we hope advances another treatment option for the disease.”

John Throup, Development Team Lead, BMS commented, “Early results to date indicate that BMS-986165 may be a promising oral therapy for people with lupus. Lupus Therapeutics has assembled a Network of world class investigators that are well-positioned to help us assess the potential of BMS-986165 in this disease. We are delighted to work with them as part of the phase 2 program to accelerate clinical development of potential therapies for lupus.”

Managing lupus is challenging because no two cases are alike and symptoms vary widely. While better treatments and medical care have improved life expectancy, lupus is still not adequately controlled in many people, and the disease often progresses. With limited treatment options, many of which carry risks of debilitating side effects, there is a strong need for more effective therapies that will reduce the use of steroids, decrease the frequency of disease flares, and have a favorable impact on patients’ quality of life.

Click here for more information about the trial testing BMS-986165 as a potential treatment for lupus.