A Greyabbey man who lives with Lupus, an incurable immune system illness, will be one of the first men in the UK to trial a new drug that, for the first time in half a century, could help sufferers control their disease.
Local man Morgan Gwynn is currently in London having been accepted as a “prime candidate” to take the radical new treatment Benlysta, approved only recently in the US. It is the first medication of its kind that works directly on the immune cells responsible for the condition's worst symptoms.
Strangford MP Jim Shannon met up with Mr Gwynn last week to hear his progress.
Mr Shannon said: “I have known Morgan for many years, indeed I can recall him playing football and what a fantastic player he was. When I met him in last week I was shocked by the ravages that Lupus had carried out on this once super fit man. I knew the disease that he had been suffering from and yet I had not imagined what it could do.”
An estimated five million people worldwide have lupus, which can lead to arthritis, kidney damage, chest pain, fatigue, skin rash and other problems and to date, physicians have had limited and problematic treatment options.
Mr Shannon said specialists in London had informed Morgan that he was a prime candidate for the new drug to alleviate symptoms.
“Lupus is an awful disease whereby your own body attacks you and it can only be great news for Morgan and the other five million sufferers worldwide that there is new medication available which will help make life that little bit more bearable and liveable,” he added.