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Painful and challenging to live with, gout has become the focus of a new surge in research.

In just the last few years, more than $97 million has been invested in 213 research projects aimed at helping people manage the debilitating chronic disease. The commitment is exciting for the gout community because, despite its prevalence and impact, the condition has historically been viewed as a low priority.

More than 40 companies are now actively developing therapies. Many are aimed at treating chronic gout, which causes severe and frequent flare-ups that often defy conventional medications. A few of these emerging treatments have already reached advanced stages of federal review.

Among the noteworthy developments:

The recent uptick in gout research and development is sorely needed. The disease has been surging in the United States and globally since the 1960s. More than 9 million Americans, almost 5% of the population, are affected by gout.

Gout can be debilitating and when it co-occurs with kidney disease, the pair of conditions can be lethal. Patients and clinicians around the world should be encouraged, then, that so much energy is now being focused on new gout treatments.

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