Proposed Lupus Drug Effective

Still, shares of Human Genome are slightly lower.
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Human Genome Sciences

(HGSI)

shares were edging lower even though the company announced positive trial results for its proposed lupus treatment LymphoStat-B.

The company said 449 patients with the disease were studied for 52 weeks. Of those, 321 completed a 24-week extension of the trial, which showed that the drug continued to reduce the signs and symptoms of lupus. The treatment was safe and well tolerated, the company says.

"The results presented at this year's ACR/ARHP meeting confirm and extend the growing body of evidence that LymphoStat-B has the potential to help meet the significant unmet need that we see in the

systemic lupus erythematosus patient population," said Dr. William Freimuth, vice president of clinical research in immunology, rheumatology and infectious diseases at Human Genome.

The company expects to commence phase III clinical trials, the stage of studies conducted just before a drug is submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for evaluation, before the end of the year.

Results from the study were reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology and Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals. The 52-week data were previously reported in June.

Shares of Human Genome were down 1.1% to $12.14.