Lupus Victoria is pleased to announce that donations to the Kim Jolly Lupus Research Fund (KJLRF) in the period 15 May 2021 to 12 July 2022 were $54,500. The KJLRF is funded and promoted by Lupus Victoria. The Fund was established in 2008 and is a catalyst for obtaining large scale research funding. Lupus Victoria directors presented the “cheque” to Professor Eric Morand, Head of the School of Clinical Sciences, Monash Health, on 2 August 2022.
The Kim Jolly Lupus Research Fund supports day to day clinical data and blood sample collection from consenting patients at the Monash Lupus Clinic, which form a vital underpinning investment in capability. This investment has leveraged many-fold returns.
In Australia, the new drug Anifrolumab (Saphnelo®) has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), and approval by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is hoped for later this year. This breakthrough new medicine is expected to bring benefit to thousands of patients worldwide. If approved by the PBS, it will be the first PBS listed drug specifically for lupus in the last 60 years.
The contribution of Monash to this breakthrough is substantial. With the support of the KJLRF, Monash is collecting long-term data on lupus patients at Monash and, in parallel, collecting blood samples that they can match to these data.
Monash is now the headquarters of two major multicentre lupus patient registries, spanning Australia and the Asia Pacific, respectively, that are making groundbreaking contributions to lupus research. Monash’s work to define and validate new outcome measures for lupus patients – to know when they have reached the treatment goal – has been adopted worldwide as a gold standard.
Alongside this, major scientific advances continue at Monash. Professor Morand said, “Our approach is always to link lab work with the clinic, and the Kim Jolly Lupus Research Fund support for data and sample collection means we are one of only a few places in the world where that is possible”.
Lupus Victoria would like to take this opportunity to thank all our donors (many of whom are anonymous due to Monash’s privacy provisions). We are truly appreciative of your generous support.