GSK seeks to expand use of lupus drug Benlysta
GlaxoSmithKline has announced the start of phase 3 clinical trials to evaluate Benlysta in treating a particular type of vascular disease. The global pharma company is trying to expand the market for Benlysta (Belimumab) beyond its approval for the treatment of lupus.
The multi-centre, multi-national, randomised, double-blind study will evaluate the efficacy and safety of belimumab in combination with azathioprine for the maintenance of remission in patients with a particular type of vascultitic disease called ANCA associated Vasculitis (Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Wegener’s) or microscopic polyangiitis).
Belimumab is not approved for use anywhere around the world for vasculitic disease.
GSK acquired full control of Benlysta last year, when it bought Human Genome Sciences for US $3 billion. While current sales of the drug were only around US $106 million in 2012, GSK hopes it will become a major seller.
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