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Drug a new hope for lupus sufferers


The first new treatment in more than 40 years for the chronic autoimmune diseases lupus could soon hit the market following positive results from a phase III clinical trial.

Pharmaceutical firm Human Genome Sciences and its partner, GlaxoSmithKline, said they planned to file for approval with the Food and Drug Administration and drug agencies in Europe during the first half of 2010 after achieving a second successful trial with the drug Benlysta (belimumab).

The current market is ripe for an effective treatment for the disease as several other drug candidates from numerous companies continue to fail in treating lupus, according to a report in the New York Times.

Dr Joan Merrill, a lupus expert at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and an investigator in the trial, said in a statement issued by Human Genome Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline: “The lupus community has waited for decades for one positive phase three trial of an investigative drug developed for lupus. Now we have two.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

Human Genome Sciences

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