AMPEL BioSolutions Co-Founder Identifies Novel Lupus Target
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Dr. Peter Lipsky, co-founder of AMPEL BioSolutions and a Charlottesville, VA scientist, coordinated a scientific study published today in Science Translational Medicine, between his Charlottesville office and Peking Union Medical Center University in Beijing. The study unveiled a novel pathway for Lupus that could be targeted by drugs in development by the biopharmaceutical industry.
A hallmark of Lupus is an overactive immune system that attacks almost any organ system of the body. Dr. Lipsky and his Beijing team found that Lupus patients have abnormally low levels of a switch that puts the bad-acting autoantibody-secreting B cells to sleep. That switch is called PTEN and Dr. Lipsky’s team found that Lupus patients with a low level of PTEN exhibit a more severe disease.
Along with Dr. Amrie Grammer, Dr. Lipsky founded AMPEL BioSolutions, a biomedical consulting firm. In less than a year, AMPEL has put together a number of partnerships consisting of drug companies, Rheumatology doctors, scientists and bioinformaticists with the goal to develop personalized medicine for Lupus patients through the LRxL-STAT Lupus Drug Repositioning Initiative [LRxL-STAT stands for Lupus Rx List-SLE Treatment Acceleration Trials].
With only one drug approved for Lupus in the last 50 years, effective safe treatments for Lupus are sorely lacking. The first clinical trials of the STAT initiative will kick-off in late 2014 or early 2015.