Genentech advances lupus therapy research

A research team at Genentech has identified two new genes that are linked to lupus, further advancing the biotech giant's work to identify new ways to identify and treat patients with the disease. Lead researcher Timothy Behrens unveiled the discovery of the BLK and ITGAM genes last Sunday in the online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. And he posted his results at the same time a rival group at the International Consortium for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Genetics released their findings in the journal Nature Genetics. Each gene is believed to attack a different component of the human immune system.

Genentech has two late-stage trials of new lupus therapies underway, a key initiative for the San Francisco-based biotech giant, which is hoping for some big advancements to follow on the footsteps of Avastin. New genetic testing technology in use at Genentech played a big role in the discovery, offering to speed up development work in the field.

- here's the article from the Wall Street Journal

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