Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, following its expected regulatory approval in 2011 in the United States and Europe, Human Genome Sciences/GlaxoSmithKline's Benlysta will garner sales of more than $500 million in 2018 in the systemic lupus erythematosus drug market. If approved, Benlysta will be the first agent to launch for systemic lupus erythematosus in more than 40 years.

The Pharmacor 2010 findings from the topic entitled Systemic Lupus Erythematosus shows that Benlysta will be prescribed to treat a large segment of systemic lupus erythematosus patients, owing to positive data regarding the biologic agent's safety and efficacy that was reported in the BLISS-52 Phase III clinical trial and in preliminary results of the BLISS-76 Phase III clinical trial. However, surveyed physicians indicate that although they are enthusiastic about the drug, they are concerned about the reluctance of payers to reimburse high-cost biologics as well as potential restrictions that may be placed on Benlysta's use.

"The reimbursement of Benlysta may be limited to patients with disease activity and manifestations closely resembling those of patients enrolled in the BLISS-52 and BLISS-76 clinical trials," said Decision Resources Analyst Dancella Fernandes, Ph.D. "We expect that the drug will be used primarily in patients with moderate and severe disease who do not have severe central nervous system or severe renal manifestations of the disease."

The Pharmacor 2010 findings also reveal that the entry and uptake of premium-priced biologics that include Benlysta, Biogen Idec/Roche/Genentech's ocrelizumab, and Immunomedics/UCB's epratuzumab will drive the overall systemic lupus erythematosus drug market to more than quadruple over the next decade. In 2018, these three agents, combined with the continued uptake of rituximab (Biogen Idec/Roche/Genentech/Chugai/Zenyaku Kogyo's Rituxan, Roche's MabThera), will account for more than 80 percent of sales in the systemic lupus erythematosus drug market.

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CONTACT: Gisselle Morales, Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2691,; Christopher Comfort, Decision Resources, Inc.,

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