Update: Human Genome Sciences to Begin Protein Testings - TheStreet

Updated from 8:17 a.m. EDT

Human Genome Sciences

(HGSI)

will begin human trials of a protein that could lead to new drugs for people with faulty immune systems.

The protein, known as B-lymphocyte stimulator, or BLys, stimulates the production of antibodies, which fight infections in healthy individuals.

Shares of Human Genome closed up 12 3/8, or 9%, at 145 3/8. However, it was trading at 151 in pre-market trading, up 18 from Thursday's close of 133, according to

Instinet

.

Human Genome Sciences has been a leader at putting the information gleaned from the long process of sequencing the human genetic code known as the human genome project -- which scientists announced the completion of Monday -- to practical use. BLyS is the fourth drug candidate for Human Genome Sciences to stem from the human genome, while no other company has more than one.

The tests will be performed on a group of patients with common variable immunodeficiency, or CVID, an affliction that makes people more susceptible to multiple bouts of pneumonia, bronchitis and sinusitis.

The announcement of the start of human trials comes one year after the company published news of the protein's discovery in

Science

magazine.