July 23, 2009

Lupus Treatment In Sight

After a 50-year drought in Lupus treatments, scientists announce positive results from a clinical trial for a new drug.

After a year-long trial, patients treated with BENLYSTA had improvement in overall disease activity without significant flare-ups compared to patient who receved the placebo.  The patients receiving the drug also were able to reduce their intake of steroid medications.  The study is the largest ever to be completed for lupus and the first Phase III trial of a new therapy for the disease to succeed.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting about 1.5 million Americans and more than five million people across the globe.

"For people with lupus and their loved ones, this is a historic day!" Sandra C. Raymond, president of the Lupus Foundation of America was quoted as saying. "With no new drugs for more than 50 years "¦ the news indicates that it is possible to develop new, safe, and effective therapies for lupus."

Lupus is a very complex disease, and the cure will not be the same for all patients. A number of therapies may need to work together for a patient to succeed in their fight against lupus.

SOURCE: Announced by Human Genome Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline, July 20, 2009