Regulatory Affairs

HGS in search for cancer, immunology drugs acquisitions

PBR Staff Writer Published 12 January 2011

Rockville-based Human Genome Sciences (HGS), a maker of the experimental lupus medicine Benlysta, is seeking partnerships and acquisitions in cancer and immune-system disorders.

HGS is set to start selling Benlysta along with its partner, London-based GlaxoSmithKline, if the USFDA clears the medicine by 10 March, reported

Benlysta prevents the production of antibodies that attack healthy cells, causing swelling, joint and muscle pain, rashes and fever.

With the USFDA's approval, it would become the first approved drug for lupus in more than 50 years, HGS said. has quoted CEO Tom Watkins as saying that the company would be interested in any specialty market where there is a significant unmet medical need, particularly where a large molecule could be a player.

"Benlysta will continue to be the growth vehicle for the next few years, but HGS would ensure a big pipeline to be sustainable as a growth company," Watkins said.