An estimated 24 million people in the U.S. live with autoimmune diseases, and as this number rises, so does the demand for more related research and solutions.
These illnesses include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and other diseases.
March is Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month, bringing more attention than usual to this field of study. Scientists around the world are researching and developing medicines to prevent and treat these conditions, which are notoriously difficult to diagnose.
Some autoimmune diseases require almost five years to be accurately diagnosed. There are a variety of challenges that cause this, including genetic diversity, as certain groups -- such as women and minorities -- have different predispositions to diseases. Scientists are hopeful about recent research and how it is affected by genetic diversity.
“Autoimmune diseases impact a large portion of the U.S. population: nearly eight percent of Americans are living with one of the 80-plus conditions, and that statistic continues to rise,” Tom Bumol, senior vice president of biotechnology and immunology research at Lilly, said. “It hits close to home, too, as my wife has an autoimmune disease. Seeing what she experiences on a daily basis, I want to make life better for her and for generations to come. I’m honored to dedicate my work to finding therapies that can help those living with these chronic conditions.”