Technology - Treatment of Neuropsychiatric Lupus

Treatment of Neuropsychiatric Lupus

Directly targets autoimmune antibodies that cause lupus-related seizures and cognitive impairment.


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disorder with poorly understood etiology and no significantly effective treatment. The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that 1.5 million Americans, and at least five million people worldwide, have some form of lupus ( More of these are women of childbearing age than of any other single group; and about 90% of people living with this disease are women. Symptoms are varied, and can include chronic pain, extreme fatigue, cognitive issues, and physical impairments. It is thought that the original estimate of 16,000 new cases per year is likely low. There is no cure. Neuropsychiatric SLE (NPSLE) is a common lupus subtype in which the blood brain barrier is targeted by autoimmune antibodies. Disease manifestations include cognitive dysfunction and seizures. It is estimated that 50-90% of lupus patients will develop neuropsychiatric SLE during their lifetimes. Unfortunately, there have been no diagnostics available to be able to predict who is susceptible.

Technology Overview:

A SUNY Downstate investigator has developed a highly sensitive diagnostic assay to determine if a patient is at risk for developing neuropsychiatric lupus. The immunoassay (EIA) measures the level of IgG antibodies against regulatory brain specific cytoplasmic RNAs (BC RNAs). It has been tested against the sera from neuropsychiatric lupus patients and in those assays, the frequency of anti-BC RNA IgG antibodies detected in NPSLE patients was significantly higher than in the control group (normal individuals). It has also been tested with sera from SLE positive patients who don't exhibit symptoms of NPSLE. Assay kits have been developed.


This technology provides a novel approach to treating lupus symptoms by directly targeting autoimmune antibodies that cause seizures and cognitive impairment.


The primary application for this technology is treatment for lupus.

Intellectual Property Summary:

Patented, US9784739

Stage of Development:

Technology Readiness Level (TRL): 3 - Experimental proof of concept.

Licensing Status:

The team is seeking licensing and commercialization partners.

Licensing Potential:

Licensing, Commercial partner

Patent Information: