New Lupus Drug on the Horizon


Lupus is a disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells, causing damage to the joints, blood vessels, skin, lungs, and heart. The disease more frequently affects women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and American Indians. Steroids have frequently been used to treat symptoms such as joint pain in lupus patients, but for over a century now there has been no drug specifically developed for lupus. Following a one year clinical trial, Human Genome Sciences Inc. has announced positive results of lupus patients using Benlysta for more effective treatment of pain, hair loss, and skin rash in lupus patients. Encouraged and optimistic, Thomas Watkins, Human Genome’s president and chief executive, noted the need to confirm the study’s initial results. The drug may be available as early as the first half of 2010. Please read the full article by David Olmos and Lisa Rapaport for even more details on the Benlysta study and its significance.

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