New Department of Defense Scleroderma Research Program Holds Inaugural Stakeholders Meeting
Scleroderma or systemic sclerosis is a poorly understood heterogeneous rare autoimmune disease. Scleroderma presents as a chronic connective tissue multisystem disorder characterized by vasculopathy, autoimmunity, inflammation, and fibrosis. Currently there are no validated biomarkers or effective disease-modifying treatments for scleroderma. As a result, patient survival is poor, leading to scleroderma having the highest mortality rate of any systemic autoimmune disease.
The Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) Defense Appropriations Act provides $5 million to establish the Department of Defense Scleroderma Research Program (SRP), which will support innovative research toward decreasing the impact of scleroderma.
With this new program, the SRP will invest in research for the benefit of Service members, Veterans, their families, and the American public.
On April 29, 2020, the SRP held its inaugural Stakeholders meeting. Researchers, clinicians, and consumers from around the United States participated in discussions to identify current research gaps in scleroderma and develop potential research priorities. Details of the SRP Stakeholders meeting can be found here.