July 12, 2011


To view the Social Media Release, click here: http://smr.newswire.ca/en/lupus-canada/first-new-lupus-treatment-in-almost-50-years

MARKHAM, ON, July 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Health Canada's recent approval of
BENLYSTA(TM) marks the first new treatment available in almost 50 years to
the over 1:1000 Canadian men, women and children who are living with
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) an autoimmune disease with no known
cause or cure. Lupus most often affects women of childbearing age
(15-45) but can affect men, children and the elderly. Nine times more
women than men will however be diagnosed with lupus.

"Lupus is a life-altering and life-threatening diagnosis" says Catherine
Madden, Executive Director of Lupus Canada. "This incurable disease
impacts and destroys many organs in the body and can cause constant
pain, immobility, organ failure and even death. Lupus is seriously
under-recognized and under-funded, but dedication to new therapies and
new research fuels our hope for a cure. While Lupus Canada works
towards a vision of life without lupus, we concentrate our efforts on ensuring people with lupus are living well. The approval of BENLYSTA(TM) means there is a new treatment option for
Canadians living with lupus."

Known as the "disease with 1000 faces", because its symptoms vary so
greatly from person to person, lupus affects over 1:1000 Canadian men,
women and children, yet many people are still unaware of the disease.
Because of the varied symptoms, lupus can be extremely difficult to
diagnose. The symptoms of lupus often mimic other illnesses, and it can
attack any tissue or organ in the body including skin, muscles, joints,
blood and blood vessels, lungs, heart, kidneys and the brain. Common
and often chronic symptoms of lupus include joint pain and
inflammation, skin rashes, sun sensitivity, extreme fatigue, fever,
chest pain and hair loss.

"As a child, I understood only that my father suffered from lupus - he
couldn't play ball, ride a bike or walk to the store... many days he was
in too much pain to be able to get out of bed" says Kendra MacDonald,
President, Board of Directors, Lupus Canada. "It was not only my father
that suffered from lupus for over 20 years, our entire family was
touched by the disease and the constant fear that the next complication
would take his life which it ultimately did in 2001. The arrival of a
new treatment helps to bring hope for other families like ours!"

Lupus Canada, working together with its provincial partners, is a
national voluntary organization dedicated to improving the lives of
people living with lupus through advocacy, education, public awareness,
support and research. We provide educational and support resources for
people whose lives are touched by lupus, raise awareness of Lupus and
provide funding for research. Through the support of events such as
Walk for Lupus and generous, engaged individual and corporate donors,
we are able to continue our work on behalf of people living with lupus.

To learn more about lupus, Lupus Canada, our member organizations and
divisions, visit www.lupuscanada.org or contact us at 1-800-661-1468. To learn more about BENLYSTA(TM), contact
your doctor.

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as

Video: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/mmnr/smr/Lupus_Eng_OCTTag.FLV

SOURCE Lupus Canada