New research findings offer interesting insights around the potential gut-lupus connection. The study’s results indicate people with lupus have reduced species diversity in their guts, meaning they have fewer types or strains of bacteria than those without lupus. In fact, the study’s subjects with higher disease activity (more severe or frequent flares) had the fewest types of bacteria species present.
Additionally, the study participants with lupus had five times the amount of one specific strain of bacteria: Ruminococcus gnavus (RG). While RG is not a “bad” species of bacteria per se, the researchers found that a particularly high concentration of any bacteria strain increases risk of flares in people with lupus. Not only do people with lupus seem to have reduced bacterial diversity in general and high levels of RG bacteria in particular, those with active lupus nephritis (LN) exhibited the strongest antibody response to RG and a certain RG-produced molecule known as lipoglycan.
Few AIM-listed drug development companies have late-stage clinical assets in the pipeline, ImmuPharma plc (LON:IMM) is an exception. The Company’s lead compound, Lupuzor™, a potential treatment for Lupus, has completed Phase 3 trial of dosing patients across the US, Europe and Mauritius with top line results announced.