LONDON, April 3 GlaxoSmithKline is
trying to expand the market for its Benlysta drug beyond lupus
by launching a major study of the medicine as a treatment for a
serious blood vessel disorder.
GSK acquired full control of Benlysta when it bought Human
Genome Sciences for $3 billion last year. Current sales of the
drug are modest, at 70 million pounds ($106 million) in 2012,
but GSK hopes it will become a major seller.
Britain's biggest drugmaker said on Wednesday it was
starting a final-stage Phase III clinical study to assess
Benlysta in treating a particular type of vascular disease
called ANCA associated vasculitis.
Vasculitis occurs when the body's immune system attacks
blood vessels leading to inflammation, resulting in disruption
of blood flow that can cause organ damage.