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Medical Network

Summer, 2021

Request for Proposals for Cure JM Funding

Cure JM is accepting applications for appropriately qualified institutions as Cure JM Centers of Excellence (COE).

A Cure JM COE is distinguished in having excellence in clinical care and treatment of patients with JM. Excellence of care is recognized through a core of highly qualified pediatric rheumatologists with significant experience in diagnosing and treating patients; the potential to offer clinics bringing together sub-specialties spanning physical therapy to mental health and optimizing patient care.

Applications will be funded for an initial two-year period with funding levels at $25,000-$50,000 annually, dependent on clinic size, institutional support, and other factors.

An extended COE application may be considered when an institution is also at the forefront of JM research. This JM research expertise may be in basic, translational, and/or clinical trials. The Clinic and Research-based COE will be funded annually for two years in two streams:

  • Clinic stream: $25,000-$50,000
  • Research stream: $25,000-$75,000

Read more information and apply here.


Final proposal received

November 30, 2021

Schedule zoom presentations from applicants and conduct site visits (optional)

December 13, 2021

Internal review, ranking, and decision by Cure JM Medical Advisory Board Committee, Cure JM Research Committee, and Cure JM Board of Directors

January 28, 2022

Successful applicant notification

February 1, 2022

Contracts finalized & signed

February 28, 2022

Program & COE formal start date March 1, 2022

COVID-19 Vaccination for Families and Patients with Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM)

The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) of the Cure JM Foundation met on July 16, 2021. One of the topics of discussion was COVID-19, including COVID-19 vaccines as they relate to JDM patients and their families.

The MAB strongly advocated for getting all members of the household and JDM patients vaccinated against COVID-19. The MAB highlighted a number of consensus documents and guidelines provided by:

The specific points that the MAB highlighted for JDM patients are:

  • There are no currently known contraindications to COVID-19 vaccinations for JDM patients.
  • The likelihood is that there will be a considerable length of time in extrapolating COVID-19 data from adult patients with autoimmune disease to pediatric JDM patients. Notwithstanding this, the consensus of opinion is that a COVID-19 vaccination will help protect JDM patients.
  • It is important that patients consult with their treating physician for any recommendations about stopping their current JDM medications around vaccinations, and not do this on their own.
  • There are a number of vaccines available, with the Pfizer vaccine currently having approval status for those 12-18 years of age. As more data is gathered, this age range may go down to those 5 years of age, possibly in the next few months, and additional vaccines may be approved for use in children.
  • There are a number of new variants of COVID-19 that are more infectious than the original strain. This point emphasizes the need for patients and their families to get fully vaccinated, to help mitigate against hospitalizations for unvaccinated patients and help slow the spread of new, more infectious variants.

Abstract of Cure JM Supported Study
Siglec-1 expression on monocytes is associated with the interferon signature in juvenile dermatomyositis and can predict treatment response

Butsabong Lerkvaleekul, Saskia R Veldkamp, Maria M van der Wal, Ellen J H Schatorjé, Sylvia S M Kamphuis, J Merlijn van den Berg, Petra C E Hissink Muller, Wineke Armbrust, Sebastiaan J Vastert, Judith Wienke, Marc H A Jansen, Annet van Royen-Kerkhof, Femke van Wijk.

Objective: Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is a rare chronic immune-mediated inflammatory disease with a predominant role for type I interferon (IFN) responses. We aimed to determine the potential of Siglec-1 expression on monocytes as a novel IFN-inducible biomarker for disease activity monitoring and prediction of treatment response in patients with JDM.

Methods: Siglec-1 was measured by flow cytometry on circulating monocytes of 21 newly diagnosed JDM patients before start of treatment and of 10 of these also during follow-up. The expression levels of 5 type I IFN-stimulated genes, MX1, IFI44, IFI44L, LY6E and IFIT3, were measured by RT-qPCR to determine the IFN signature and calculate an IFN score. IFN-inducible plasma proteins CXCL10 and galectin-9 were measured by multiplex immunoassay.

Results: Siglec-1 and IFN score were increased in JDM patients compared with controls and correlated with clinical disease activity. Stratification of patients by Siglec-1 expression at diagnosis identified those with high Siglec-1 expression as having a higher risk of requiring treatment intensification within the first 3 months after diagnosis (55% vs 0% of patients, p= 0.01). Siglec-1 expression strongly correlated with plasma levels of previously validated biomarkers CXCL10 (rs=0.81, p< 0.0001) and galectin-9 (rs=0.83, p< 0.0001), and was superior to the IFN score in predicting treatment response (area under the curve 0.87 vs 0.53, p= 0.01).

Conclusion: Siglec-1 on monocytes is a novel IFN-inducible biomarker in JDM that correlates with clinical disease activity and identifies patients at risk for a suboptimal treatment response. Further studies are required to validate these findings and their clinical potential.

You can read the full paper here.

This issue is brought to you with the support of:

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CSI Pharmacy Clinical Specialty Infusions, LLC
Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

Cure JM welcomes your input, questions and experiences. Please email to share your input.