The good news: Human Genome Sciences'
The bad news: Benlysta treats systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) -- an autoimmune disease that flares up and wanes. And lupus is where good drugs go to die.
There hasn't been a drug approved to treat lupus in more than 30 years, despite many companies' best efforts. Genentech and Biogen Idec's
The Benlysta results released yesterday were a continuation of a phase 2 trial. Patients out as far as four years seem to be having a positive response to the drug.
While the results are promising, they in no way guarantee success for the two phase 3 trials run by Human Genome Sciences and partner GlaxoSmithKline
Weighing in at a market cap of $430 million after yesterday's 18% move, but now down to about $390 million after an analyst downgrade this morning, Human Genome Sciences has the potential to pop if Benlysta's phase 3 trials are a success. But please, be Foolish, and only keep HGS as a small fraction of your portfolio if you decide to invest. History is definitely not on your side.