LONDON An investigational biotech drug for lupus worked better when added to standard treatments than the standard treatments alone, according to late-stage clinical trial results released this week.
British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline and U.S. drug maker Human Genome Sciences announced results of a 76-week study of Benlysta (belimumab) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, a chronic and potentially fatal autoimmune disease that affects around 1.5 million Americans.
The study found that Benlysta added to standard treatments showed higher response rates than the standard treatments with placebo by the 76th week. The results of the 76-week study were not statistically significant, though efficacy results were in a 52-week study, and both studies indicated the drug was safe.
“We view the results of these studies as strongly supportive of our view that Benlysta has the potential to become the first new approved drug in more than 50 years for people living with systemic lupus,” Human Genome Sciences president and CEO H. Thomas Watkins said.