Around one in ten people in Europe are living with an autoimmune disease. Caused by dysfunctions in the immune system, autoimmune diseases can occur when overactive immune cells mistakenly attack the body’s own tissue 1. People living with autoimmune diseases can face a lifetime of managing their condition, yet the impact of auto-immune diseases is often dramatically underestimated.
We know that the true impact of these diseases can go beyond physical symptoms: stigma, isolation, decreased productivity and psychological issues often affect people with immune diseases 2-3 . and this can also have an impact on families, loved ones and caregivers . Yet as their diseases are not readily recognised, many often suffer in silence for years, before eventually seeking treatment.
Over the past decade, Janssen has redefined the standard of care in immunology. With a rich heritage in developing cutting-edge treatments that can help to address the needs of millions of patients living with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Janssen strives to change the way diseases are treated; pursuing new pathways that could prevent, intercept and ultimately cure, and expanding our portfolio beyond monoclonal antibodies to include novel, oral small molecules and new biologic platforms. Through our ongoing efforts in discovery, biomarkers, clinical research and external innovation, we are poised for continued leadership, bringing transformational medicines to patients and healthcare providers to achieve our vision: a world free from immune diseases.
We focus on a range of autoimmune diseases caused by chronic inflammation, where the impact on patients is highest and where there remains an unmet need for better treatment.
Psoriasis is a condition which causes symptoms on the skin and sometimes the joints. When a person has psoriasis, their skin replacement process speeds up and the resulting accumulation of skin cells forms raised ‘plaques’ on the skin which can be flaky, scaly, discoloured, and itchy. Psoriasis can occur on any area of the body, including the elbows, knees or scalp, though it can appear on any location although different types tend to occur on different areas 4.
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis which affects joints (such as the knees) as well as areas where tendons join to bone (such as the heel and lower back). Most people who have psoriatic arthritis find it occurs after developing skin psoriasis, but some develop the arthritis before they notice any psoriasis on their skin 5.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They cause inflammation of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Inflammation caused by crohn's disease can involve different areas of the digestive tract, whereas ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon 6.
Lupus is an incurable illness which can affect any part of the body; principally the kidneys and the skin, but also the heart, lungs and brain 7. The two major symptoms are joint and muscle pain and an extreme tiredness that won't go away no matter how much you rest. Whilst the two major symptoms are invariably present, people with lupus can experience a wide range of symptoms and degrees of severity.
1. Wang L et al (2015). Human autoimmune diseases: a comprehensive update. J Intern Med. 278(4), 369-95
2. Mease PJ (2009). Assessing the impact of psoriatic arthritis on patient function and quality of life: lessons learned from other rheumatologic conditions. Semin Arthritis Rheum, 38, 320–35br
3. Walker JG and Littlejohn GO (2007). Measuring quality of life in rheumatic conditions. Clin Rheumatol, 26, 671–73
4. National Psoriasis Foundation. About Psoriasis
5. Psoriasis Association UK: About Psoriatic Arthritis
6. Crohn’s & Colitis UK: About IBD
7. Lupus UK: What is Lupus?