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Human Genome Sciences
Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ: HGSI) is a biopharmaceutical corporation founded in 1992. Its stated purpose is to "discover, develop, manufacture and market innovative drugs that serve patients with unmet medical needs, with a primary focus on protein and antibody drugs." The company focuses on drug development, as well as drug discovery and currently (as of 2006) has a pipeline of novel compounds in clinical development, including drugs to treat such diseases as hepatitis C, lupus, anthrax disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and HIV/AIDS.
Its opulent facilities in Rockville, Maryland earned its architect—Davis Carter Scott, Ltd.—an award from the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. The Association cited the glass walls, atrium, and uniform design of all the buildings as reasons for the award.
The company was founded by William Haseltine, a former Harvard University AIDS researcher with a notorious ego. HGS had a partnership for several years after its founding with Craig Venter and his non-profit TIGR to begin sequencing and submitting patents on hundreds of thousands of protein-encoding DNA fragments. In 2000, Haseltine said that his work "speeds up biological discovery a hundredfold, easily. Easily." He talked of finding in genes "the fountain of youth" in the form of "cellular replacement" therapies. More than $1 billion was invested in the company in 2000. But initial drugs failed in initial clinical trials, and the stock plummeted. HGS currently has therapies under development for lupus as well as albumin fusion proteins for existing biotherapeutic proteins.
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. Reporting on a Phase IIa clinical trial, Haseltine said "Those who got the drug grew almost 10 times as much skin as people who did not get any." In September 2003, the company reported that it would end the development of the drug for use in venous ulcers (sores) because of disappointing clinical trial results, but would continue a mid-stage (Phase II) trial of repifermin in the treatment of mucositis, an inflammation of the mouth that some chemotherapy patients develop. 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.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Human_Genome_Sciences". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|