When this happens it can lead to autoimmune diseases which can have a major impact on patients daily lives. Some common autoimmune diseases include type-1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Finding the right target
The very nature of autoimmune diseases – highly unpredictable and varying from person to person – means that fighting them can be a real challenge. Researchers have faced countless obstacles over the past decades in their mission to pinpoint the root causes of these diseases and successfully bring new medicines to patients.
Even after decades of work, the exact cause of autoimmune diseases still remains unknown and no cure currently exists.
Some autoimmune diseases have proven more difficult than others and the development of medicines that can treat them remains one of modern science’s biggest challenges.
Systemic lupus, for example, is a disease that has proven particularly difficult and only one new medicine has been successfully developed to treat it in more than 50 years, despite countless other clinical trials and potential medicines being studied throughout this time.