Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) has received a priority review from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a proposed drug to treat lupus.

The Lupus Foundation defines lupus as "a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body."

GSK is partnered with Human Genome Sciences on development of the drug called Benlysta.

The FDA set a target action date of Dec. 9.

Priority review designations are for drugs that could provide major advances in treatment of a disease where a current therapy doesn’t exist.

According to the Lupus Foundation, the disease affects some 1.5 million people in the U.S. and 5 million worldwide.

Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age, the Foundation says.

GSK and Human Genome Sciences submitted results from two Phase III clinical trials.

“Belimumab is the first medicine for lupus that has completed Phase 3 trials with positive results,” said Carlo Russo, GSK’s senior vice president of Biopharm Development.

“We look forward to continuing to work together with HGS to progress regulatory files and we hope that we will be able to deliver a new treatment option for patients living with lupus,” he added.

For the full announcement, at Twitter.