HGS Announces Submission of Marketing Authorization of Benlysta
ROCKVILLE, Md., Jun 07, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Human Genome Sciences, Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!hgsi/quotes/nls/hgsi (HGSI 24.98, +0.36, +1.46%) today announced that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has submitted a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for approval to market BENLYSTA(R) (belimumab) for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
The MAA submission includes the results of two pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials in autoantibody-positive patients with SLE showing that belimumab met its primary endpoint. In the Phase 3 studies, known as BLISS-52 and BLISS-76, belimumab 10 mg/kg plus standard of care achieved a statistically significant improvement in patient response rate as measured by the SLE Responder Index at Week 52, compared with placebo plus standard of care. Study results also showed that belimumab was generally well tolerated in BLISS-52 and BLISS-76, as demonstrated by a similar rate of discontinuations due to adverse events across treatment groups, with overall adverse event rates comparable between belimumab and placebo treatment groups. The design of the two trials was similar, but the duration of therapy in the two studies was different -- 52 weeks for BLISS-52 and 76 weeks for BLISS-76. HGS designed the Phase 3 program for belimumab in collaboration with GSK and leading international SLE experts. The two studies treated a total of 1,684 patients.
"Based on the results of our pivotal Phase 3 studies, we believe BENLYSTA has the potential to become the first new approved drug for systemic lupus in more than 50 years," said H. Thomas Watkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, HGS. Mr. Watkins also said that HGS and GSK plan to submit a Biologics License Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration later in June.
Belimumab is an investigational human monoclonal antibody drug that specifically recognizes and inhibits the biological activity of B-lymphocyte stimulator, or BLyS. BLyS is a naturally occurring protein discovered by HGS that is required for the survival and maturation of B-lymphocyte cells into plasma B cells. Plasma B cells produce antibodies, the body's first line of defense against infection. In lupus and certain other autoimmune diseases, elevated levels of BLyS are believed to contribute to the production of autoantibodies -- antibodies that attack and destroy the body's own healthy tissues. The presence of autoantibodies appears to correlate with disease severity. Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that belimumab can reduce autoantibody levels in SLE. The results of two pivotal Phase 3 trials, BLISS-52 and BLISS-76, suggest that belimumab can reduce SLE disease activity.
About the HGS/GSK Collaboration
In 2006, HGS and GSK entered into a definitive co-development and commercialization agreement under which HGS has conducted the belimumab Phase 3 trials, with assistance from GSK. The companies will share equally in Phase 3/4 development costs, sales and marketing expenses, and profits of any product commercialized under the agreement.
About Human Genome Sciences
The mission of HGS is to apply great science and great medicine to bring innovative drugs to patients with unmet medical needs. The HGS clinical development pipeline includes novel drugs to treat lupus, hepatitis C, inhalation anthrax and cancer.
For more information about HGS, please visit the Company's web site at www.hgsi.com. Health professionals and patients interested in clinical trials of HGS products may inquire via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling HGS at (877) 822-8472.
HGS, Human Genome Sciences and BENLYSTA are trademarks of Human Genome Sciences, Inc. Other trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owners.
SOURCE: Human Genome Sciences, Inc.