Assay for Early Detection of Flares in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


Project Outline

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune condition which affects multiple organ systems, including skin, mouth, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, intestine and blood. It is a relapsing-remitting disease with alternating disease-free and active periods; the active periods are known as flares, where active inflammation of organs and tissues takes place. Flares start subclinically (i.e. with increasing inflammation) and if untreated progress to clinical flares which manifest variously as rash, joint pains, low blood counts, seizures or blood/protein in the urine. All SLE patients are regularly monitored for development of flares as untreated clinical flares will result in organ damage and lead to irreversible damage, such as end stage kidney disease requiring lifelong dialysis.

In the current standard of care, there is an unmet medical need to detect patients with subclinical flares as existing markers of flares do not perform adequately.

Project Deliverables

A nanoparticle-based assay to detect subclinical flares in patients with SLE using tear samples, followed by validation in an SLE patient cohort.


Principal Investigator: Professor Julian Thumboo

Institution: Singapore General Hospital

NHIC Ref: NHIC-I2D-1604102