SYSTEMIC SCLEROSIS PATIENTS
Every day, people living with Systemic Sclerosis, a form of scleroderma, embrace the adversity they face, meet their challenges head on, and work tirelessly to advocate for awareness, education and research in the quest for a cure. Eicos Sciences is proud to support the Systemic Sclerosis community in their journey to improve the lives of patients everywhere.
We are committed to enriching the lives of Systemic Sclerosis patients by focusing on therapies that will alter the course of digital ischemic episodes (Raynaud’s Phenomenon) associated with Systemic Sclerosis. Currently there are no approved therapies for this debilitating condition, and we remain committed to the research to meet an unserved patient need.
Understanding Systemic Sclerosis
Systemic Sclerosis, a form of scleroderma, is a rare, autoimmune disease that affects the connective tissues of multiple organs, and is characterized by:
- Fibrosis (an excessive amount of the connective tissue collagen in the body’s tissues)
- Inflammation (your body’s way of protecting itself from infection, illness or injury. Signs include heat, pain, redness and swelling)
- Dysfunction of the immune system
- Abnormal blood vessels
Systemic Sclerosis can involve the skin, esophagus, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, kidneys, heart and other organs. The tissues of involved organs become hard and fibrous, causing them to function less efficiently. Systemic Sclerosis mainly affects women, with an estimated ~75,000 adult cases in the U.S. Greater than 95% of people with Systemic Sclerosis experience digital ischemic episodes (Raynaud’s Phenomenon) which is the most common early sign of the disease.
Digital Ischemic Episodes (Raynaud’s Phenomenon) in Systemic Sclerosis
In 1862, Maurice Raynaud recognized that some people who were exposed to cold temperatures or emotional stress, had poor blood flow that appeared as pale or blue skin mainly affecting the digits (fingers and toes). The term “Raynaud’s Phenomenon” is now used to describe these digital ischemic episodes.
In digital ischemic episodes (Raynaud’s Phenomenon) the blood vessels constrict or narrow in response to cold or emotional stress. The result of this disturbance in blood circulation causes an attack, with a series of color changes in the fingers and toes. These attacks can be extremely painful, and are often accompanied by numbness, discomfort and/or tingling along with color changes. Digital ischemic episodes (Raynaud’s Phenomenon) are associated with the loss of ability to perform tasks with the hands, impacting quality of life and day-to-day functioning.
In people with Systemic Sclerosis, digital ischemic episodes (Raynaud’s Phenomenon) may be the first sign of long-term complications due to the inflammation and the disruption of the blood vessels that supply blood to the digits. These slow, continuous changes can cause more severe and longer lasting episodes which may lead to digital ulcers (sores) over the fingertips. These sores heal slowly, are extremely painful, and can affect a person’s ability to perform work and daily activities. In severe cases, digital ulcers can result in scarring, loss of tissue, infection, gangrene, and amputation.
There are currently no FDA approved therapies to treat digital ischemic episodes (Raynaud’s Phenomenon) associated with Systemic Sclerosis. CLICK HERE to learn more about the AURORA phase 3 study.
There are numerous organizations dedicated to supporting and connecting patients living with scleroderma. We encourage you to visit their websites, learn more, and get involved.
Scleroderma Research Foundation
“The Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to seeking out and funding the most promising, highest quality research aimed at improved therapies and ultimately a cure for scleroderma.”