June 12, 2014
Seattle Children’s Research Institute and biotechnology company Kineta, Inc. have been making news this week following the launch of the Alliance for Children’s Therapeutics (ACT), a first-of-its-kind pediatric research and funding collaboration designed to speed development of new medications for children and teens.
With the lack of pediatric studies in new drug development, doctors do not always have useful data when prescribing drugs only tested in adults. ACT’s first effort will be in lupus nephritis and plans further research into other autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
The collaboration was announced during a lunch held on Wednesday, June 11 at Seattle Children’s Research Institute bringing together patients, donors and the local community. Emcee Jean Enersen, and a star lineup of speakers shared their stories and passion behind the important effort to speed development of innovative therapies for often-overlooked pediatric autoimmune diseases.
The news went viral as Lupus organizations and patients responded with words of encouragement and support of the first collaboration project with researchers from Kineta and Seattle Children’s Research Institute. The partnership is in full swing with Kineta already conducting pre-clinical laboratory tests to advance its lead compound, ShK-186, as a potential treatment for lupus nephritis, an autoimmune disease that causes kidney inflammation.
Dr. Anne Stevens illustrated the need for better treatment options for patients with autoimmune diseases like lupus and featured speakers Terri Seymour, "Extra" correspondent and lupus patient, as well as Ray Heacox, president and general manager of KING 5, shared their personal experiences with autoimmune diseases. They enthusiastically discussed why this effort is so critical and highlighted the importance of innovative partnerships in helping to advance treatments for autoimmune diseases in children.