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Media Contact:
Tara DiMilia, 908-947-0500, tara.dimilia@TMstrat.com

Bay Area Lyme Foundation Highlights 2019 Progress toward Diagnosing, Treating and Preventing Lyme Disease

Bay Area Lyme Foundation has now funded more than 100 research projects at 38 institutions around the country since its inception in 2012

PORTOLA VALLEY, Calif., December 13, 2019—Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the U.S., today announced an exceptional year in research, including the first published studies using samples from the Lyme Disease Biobank and advances in research of disulfiram for treating individuals suffering from chronic Lyme disease and chronic babesiosis, an approach that Bay Area Lyme Foundation was the first to support.

“2019 was met with tremendous forward momentum for Lyme disease research as some of the early research we supported began to show significant clinical impact,” said Linda Giampa, executive director, Bay Area Lyme Foundation. “The Foundation continues to demonstrate progress against tick-borne diseases, one of the most important health crises of our time.”

Research in Action

In 2019, Bay Area Lyme Foundation granted $3.2M to impactful Lyme and tick-borne disease research projects. The advances made this year give us hope that we are inching closer to success in our fight to make Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure. This year, Bay Area Lyme Foundation …

  • Funded the first West Coast Continuing Medical Education (CME) program on tick-borne disease, hosted by Stanford University School of Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital. The program included presentations related to emerging diagnostic technologies, potential future treatment options, and epidemiological statistics.
  • Significantly increased the scope of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation Free Tick Testing citizen-science program, which now includes an assay for Bartonella, a disease-causing pathogen carried by ticks and fleas.
  • Continued to expand the Lyme Disease Biobank, including the announcement of its Lyme Disease Tissue Collection Program which enables research on the Lyme bacteria’s ability to invade tissues and organs. More than 45 research projects have now used blood and urine samples from Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s Lyme Disease Biobank.
  • Celebrated the exploration of FDA-approved disulfiram (known by the brand name Antabuse) as a Lyme disease therapeutic. Inspired by early research funded by Bay Area Lyme Foundation and conducted by Jayakumar Rajadas, PhD of Stanford Medicine, Kenneth Liegner, MD published case studies demonstrating the benefits of treating patients with chronic Lyme disease using disulfiram. Since then, Richard Horowitz, MD and other physicians around the country have begun prescribing disulfiram for patients with Lyme disease. Bay Area Lyme Foundation continues to fund additional studies exploring disulfiram and monitor its efficacy in patients.

2019 Bay Area Lyme Foundation grant recipients include:

  • Jason Bobe, MSIS, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Charles Chiu, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
  • Brian R Crane, PhD, Cornell University
  • Matthew Croughan, PhD, Biotechnology Industry
  • Monica E Embers, PhD, Tulane University
  • Andrea C Granados, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
  • Liz Horn, PhD, MBI, Lyme Disease Biobank
  • Lorraine Johnson, JD, MBA, CEO LymeDisease.org
  • Elizabeth Lewandrowski, PhD, Massachusetts General Harvard
  • Richard Marconi, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Yuko Nakajima, PhD, Brandeis University
  • Nate Nieto, PhD, Northern Arizona University
  • Geetha Parthasarathy, PhD, Tulane University
  • Steven Phillips, MD, Kyronyx Biosciences
  • Bill Robinson, MD, PhD, Stanford University
  • Michal Caspi Tal, PhD, Stanford University
  • Yong Zhou, PhD, Institute for Systems Biology

Prevention in Action

Every year, Bay Area Lyme Foundation sponsors dozens of community events as part of our awareness and prevention program. In 2019, Bay Area Lyme Foundation hosted 23 educational events and five Distinguished Speaker Series throughout the U.S. Our free training sessions are open to anyone wishing to learn more about tick-borne disease.

About Lyme Disease
The most common vector-borne infectious disease in the country, Lyme disease is a potentially disabling infection caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of an infected tick to people and pets. If caught early, most cases of Lyme disease can be effectively treated, but it is commonly misdiagnosed due to lack of awareness and unreliable diagnostic tests. There are over 400,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year, according to statistics released in 2018 by the CDC. As a result of the difficulty in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, more than one million Americans may be suffering from the impact of its debilitating long-term symptoms and complications, according to Bay Area Lyme Foundation estimates.

About Bay Area Lyme Foundation
Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a national organization committed to making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, is a leading public not-for-profit sponsor of innovative Lyme disease research in the U.S. A 501c3 non-profit organization based in Silicon Valley, Bay Area Lyme Foundation collaborates with world-class scientists and institutions to accelerate medical breakthroughs for Lyme disease. It is also dedicated to providing reliable, fact-based information so that prevention and the importance of early treatment are common knowledge. A pivotal donation from The LaureL STEM Fund covers overhead costs and allows for 100% of all donor contributions to Bay Area Lyme Foundation to go directly to research and prevention programs. For more information about Lyme disease or to get involved, visit www.bayarealyme.org or call us at 650-530-2439.

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Contact:
Tara DiMilia
Phone: 908-884-7024
Tara.DiMilia@tmstrat.com

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