Processing Magazine

FDA Approves First New Drug for Lupus in 56 Years

March 10, 2011

According to the Associated Press, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first new drug to treat lupus in over 50 years, a milestone that medical experts say could prompt development of other drugs that are even more effective in treating the debilitating immune system disorder. Known as Benlysta, the injectable drug is designed to relieve flare-ups and pain caused by lupus, a little-understood and potentially fatal ailment in which the body attacks its own tissue and organs. Biotech drugmaker Human Genome Sciences Inc. spent 15 years developing Benlysta and will co-market it with GlaxoSmithKline PLC. The companies estimate there are at least 200,000 lupus patients in the U.S. who could benefit from the drug.