Difference between revisions of "Human Genome Sciences"

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Group.png Human Genome Sciences  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Founder• Wally Steinberg
• Craig Venter
• Alan Walton
LocationRockville, Maryland
InterestsGlaxoSmithKline

Human Genome Sciences (HGS) was a biopharmaceutical corporation that was founded in 1992 and used the human DNA sequence to develop protein and antibody drugs. HGS had drugs under development to treat such diseases as hepatitis C, systemic lupus erythmatosis, anthrax, and cancer, and collaborated with other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including the UK biopharmaceutical company Cambridge Antibody Technology (taken over by AstraZeneca) for development partnerships and licensing.[1]

On 16 July 2012, HGS agreed to be purchased by GlaxoSmithKline for $3.6 billion.[2]

Corporate history

Human Genome Sciences was founded by Alan Walton, Wally Steinberg and Craig Venter who at the time founded the non-profit The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) to begin sequencing and submitting patents on hundreds of thousands of protein-encoding DNA fragments.

Leadership

In 1993 Wally Steinberg hired Bill Haseltine as the first CEO of HGS. In 2000, Dr Haseltine said that the company's work "speeds up biological discovery a hundredfold, easily." He talked of finding in genes "the fountain of youth" in the form of "cellular replacement" therapies. In late 2004, HGS announced Bill Haseltine's retirement and named H. Thomas Watkins the new President and CEO.

Drug development

More than $2 billion in investments was raised by the company by 1999-2000. Two initial drugs failed in clinical trials, and the stock share price declined from its highs. For example, in September 2000, the company reported that it had found a way to treat large, painful sores that often plague elderly patients, using a protein spray called repifermin, made by a human gene called keratinocyte growth factor-2. In February 2004, the company said that it was ending the development of repifermin because it showed no more benefit than a placebo in clinical trials.

Benlysta (belimumab) received U.S. Food and Regulatory Administration approval for use in lupus in March 2011. Belimumab was being developed with GlaxoSmithKline,[3] Abthrax (raxibacumab) for anthrax was the subject of a contract with the US Government under Project BioShield.[4] Development of Albuferon (albinterferon) for Hepatitis C was discontinued after fatalities during early testing. Belimumab and raxibacumab were created as a result of a technology licensing deal with Cambridge Antibody Technology signed in 1999.[5]


References

  1. Human Genome Sciences Announces 2008 Goals and Reports Substantial Progress Toward Commercialization at JPMorgan Healthcare Conference
  2. "GlaxoSmithKline buys Human Genome Sciences for $3.6B"
  3. HGS Press Release, 2005
  4. HGS Press Release, June 20, 2006
  5. "In August 2006, HGS and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) entered into a co-development and commercialisation agreement"
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