Exciting progress announced this quarter by two Lyme Research Alliance grantees confirms that significant strides are being made in the science of understanding and combating Lyme disease, once again underscoring the critical role played by privately-funded research in this field which continues to receive relatively low levels of Federal funding.

LRA Lauren Brooks Hope Award winner Dr. Karen Newell-Rogers of Texas A&M University, in collaboration with Dr. Brian Fallon of Columbia University Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center, in March, 2012 submitted a pre-Investigational New Drug (pre-IND) application to the FDA as the first step toward a human clinical trial of the first treatment to target post-infectious or “chronic” Lyme disease. Now the FDA has convened a panel of experts to oversee the process of conducting one further animal study as a preliminary to entering Phase 1 Clinical Trial with the new treatment. Dr. Newell-Rogers and her team are hopeful that Clinical Trials will begin by mid-2013 with what would be the first-ever drug to treat chronic Lyme disease!

AND Dr. Eva Sapi in October released a new paper in the prestigious online peer review journal PlosOne, detailing the advances of her research team at the University of New Haven in documenting the process by which the Lyme Borrelia evades the onslaught of antibiotics through the formation of biofilms. Supported by an equipment grant from LRA, Dr. Sapi’s team continues to expand our understanding of these forms and the mechanisms that trigger the formation of these drug-resistant concentrations of spirochetes. Dr. Sapi’s paper can be accessed at: http://bit.ly/Rmz5JO.

Once again this is concrete evidence of the impact of our donors' dollars. The LRA Scientific Advisory Board has done a first-class job of directing LRA's research grants into programs that are achieving concrete advances toward our urgent goal of discovering a reliable diagnosis and an effective treatment for "chronic" Lyme.


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