Genetics

What’s Happening at Human Genome Sciences inc



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Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGSI), shocked the investment world by making two major announcements. On Friday, July 24, it will be selling 45,000 doses of ABthrax to the Strategic National Stockpile. It already delivered 20,000 doses this spring. Revenues will be $150 million. ABthrax addresses the threat of inhalation of anthrax.

A study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that nine out of 14 monkeys infected with anthrax and given the drug survived after 28 days. The drug targets toxins that enter the bloodstream.

HGSI and its partner, GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE: GSK), also announced that their lupus drug, Benlysta, has completed its Phase 3 study with positive results. The drug works by attacking a target protein.

A large percentage of patients suffering from long-term lupus experienced significant improvements by taking a high dose of Benlysta. Lupus is a very tenacious disease that is difficult to treat.

The stock market responded to the good news positively with a 277% surge in the price of HGSI stock on July 20. If the government approves the drug, analysts expect the stock price to jump to $15.

The company is expecting equally good news in November when another late-stage study is expected to be completed on Benlysta. This may be the first drug approved in decades that is able to effectively treat lupus.

GSK is a major pharmaceutical company headquartered in the UK. It is engaging in research on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and has developed some medicines in these areas for global markets.

After receiving positive results on Phase 3 trials of Albuferon, the company will be filing global marketing applications this fall. Albuferon treats chronic hepatitis C.

HGSI is conducting studies on a number of drugs it is developing for treatment of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

HGSI is a major player in the biopharmaceutical industry. The 17-year-old company is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. It suffered from a $2.1 billion deficit last year. But this latest spate of good news is fanning hopes on Wall Street that the company will soon turn things around.

HGSI reports that revenues for the quarter ending on June 30 increased to $26.7. Net losses decreased to $65.4 million. Revenues are expected to take the company through the end of Phase 3 studies, filing of market applications, and launch of new products.

Some analysts believe HGSI's stock is still undervalued. They are recommending clients to buy. HGSI may have just become a prime target for acquisition by other pharmaceutical firms, including its partner, GSK.

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