NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The newly merged Lupus Research Alliance celebrated its debut at the Inaugural Gala, uniting the three world leaders in lupus research as the driving force for better treatments and a cure. In just one night, the country's largest lupus fundraising event raised over $2.5 million - with every dollar going directly to support lupus research. The organization unveiled its iconic new symbol in grand style, marking its identity as the catalyst, champion and creator of scientific innovation in lupus and autoimmune disease.
Lupus Research Alliance Chairman and CEO of the New York Jets, Robert Wood "Woody" Johnson IV, co-hosted the evening with Vice-Chair Richard K. DeScherer, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, Bloomberg L.P. along with founding Board members Robert Pittman, Chairman and CEO, iHeartMedia, Inc. and Carol Weisman, long-time supporter and lupus patient. As emcee, Emmy-winning journalist, lupus advocate and devoted mom to her daughter with lupus, Brenda Blackmoncharmed the crowd with her vivacious warmth. Freda-Lewis Hall, MD, DFAPA, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer accepted the Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of Pfizer Inc for their ongoing dedication to improving lupus treatment. "Our commitment to patients with lupus is tied closely to our mission to develop new, safe and effective therapies, especially where there is high medical need. We are proud to collaborate with the Lupus Research Alliance because together we are stronger and smarter than either of us alone." "We recognize Pfizer tonight as an exceptional partner in the lupus community," said Mr. Johnson. "The company's vision closely aligns with our own - to apply the finest science to improve health across the globe. And we share a deep commitment to work not just for the patient, but with the patient to develop the best possible treatments." All 18 members of the Lupus Research Alliance Founding Board of Directors were honored for their visionary leadership in uniting the Alliance for Lupus Research, Lupus Research Institute and S.L.E. Lupus Foundation into one organization with a singular quest to free the world of lupus through the power of science.