Is Bigger Better? Three Lupus Organizations Merge to Form Research Supergroup

It's consolidation time in lupus reserach.

The Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR), the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) and the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation today announced the merger of the three organizations to form the new Lupus Research Alliance.

The resources of the three groups will now be directed from a single strategic umbrella, although the new executive team will partner leadership from the legacy outfits.

Kenneth M. Farber, formerly President of the Alliance for Lupus Research and Margaret G. Dowd, formerly President and CEO of the Lupus Research Institute (LRI), will serve as Co-CEOs of the newly formed organization. It remains to be seen if the co-CEO leadership structure will remain in place for the long term, or if it's a transitional strategy.

Collectively, the three component organizations have been responsible for funding over $200 million to support lupus research. The new Board of Directors says it will cover all administrative and operating costs of the new group to ensure that 100% of all donations directly fund research programs.

The organizations are not strangers: the LRI and the ALR have in recent years partnered (along with the Lupus Foundation of America, which remains independent) to award the Lupus Insight Prize for research.

Related: Lupus Insight Prize: $200K to Find a Novel Cure

Post-merger, the new Lupus Research Alliance says it will be able to support more research to improve diagnosis and therapy for the autoimmune disease. Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90% of lupus sufferers are women, mostly from 15 to 44. Women of color are especially at risk. In lupus the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues and organs, including the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin and joints.