Advances in the Battle Against Autoimmune Disease
A healthy immune system defends the body against disease and other conditions. However, if the immune system malfunctions, it can attack healthy cells, tissues and organs. Autoimmune disease impacts different parts of the body, weakening functionality. It may be life-threatening.
Researchers are aware of more than 80 diseases that occur when the immune system attacks the body’s own organs, tissues and cells. The more common autoimmune diseases include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and inflammatory bowel disease.
Autoimmune diseases affect more than 24 million people in the U.S. On top of this, another 8 million carry auto-antibodies, blood molecules that indicate a person’s chance of developing an autoimmune disease. The cause of many of the diseases is unknown.
Many drug makers are investing in new science and hope to develop new therapeutics that address autoimmune disease. BioSpace has captured some key efforts.