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Jul 20, 2009

Human Genome Sciences’ Value Skyrockets with Positive Late-Stage Data from Lupus Trial


  • Human Genome Sciences (HGS) and co-development partner, GlaxoSmithKline, announced promising data from a Phase III trial with the systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) candidate, Benlysta™. HGS’ stock price more than tripled from $3.32 at the close of Friday to open trading today at $10.90.

    Data from the year-long BLISS-52 study showed that compared to placebo, treatment using Benlysta allowed patients to reduce their steroid intake. It also resulted in improvements in overall disease activity without clinically significant flare-ups in one or more isolated organ.

     
    HGS says the placebo-controlled BLISS-52 study was the largest ever to have been completed for lupus. The company adds that it was also the first Phase III study with a new biologic immune therapy against the disease to meet its primary and most of its secondary endpoint. A second, longer-term Phase III trial, BLISS-76, is due to report results later in 2009.

    In July 2005, GSK exercised its option under a June 1996 agreement to co-develop and co-commercialize Benlysta, formerly called LymphoStat-B, with HGS on a worldwide basis. Under the resulting co-development and co-commercialization agreement, HGS is responsible for conducting the Phase III trials with assistance from GSK.

     

     



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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