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Surprising Science

Lupus Promise

For the first time an experimental drug to treat lupus has been found to be effective in a second round of clinical trials.

“Human Genome Sciences said early Monday that its experimental drug to treat lupus was effective in its second big clinical trial, raising the chances that the first new treatment for the disease in more than 40 years will make it to market,” reports The New York Times. The new drug, called Benlysta succeeded in its first clinical trial in July “to almost everyone’s surprise” following several failed drug candidates from numerous companies. “The lupus community has waited for decades for one positive phase three trial of an investigative drug developed for lupus,” Dr. Joan T. 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. “Now we have two.”


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