Lupus Research Institute: Benlysta™ trial results in an historic research breakthrough and victory for people with lupus

Second successful phase III trial points to the first new lupus treatment in over 50 years

New York, NY (November 2, 2009) -- The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) and its National Coalition of state and local lupus organizations congratulate Human Genome Sciences (HGS) and GlaxoSmithKline for achieving an historical landmark - the second positive phase 3 clinical trial of Benlysta (belimumab), the first successfully tested new drug developed specifically for people with systemic lupus.

"This is a pivotal moment in lupus research," said Margaret G. Dowd, president of the LRI, an organization that pioneers discovery in lupus. "It demonstrates the power of innovative science to drive discovery and achieve solid clinical results in the complex autoimmune disease of lupus. Benlysta represents new hope for the 1.5 million Americans with lupus and millions more worldwide who have suffered without a safe and effective treatment for more than 50 years."

"This is spectacular news for the world-wide lupus community," said Tammy O. Utset, MD, MPH, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. "These trials demonstrate that SLE can be studied successfully in a clinical trial setting and should encourage further interest in drug development for lupus, an area of great unmet need. Further, these two large, well-designed trials will allow Benlysta, the first biological agent for the treatment of SLE, to be submitted to the FDA for potential approval."