Bloomberg News

Anthera Declines After Lupus Drug Fails to Meet Endpoints

June 28, 2012

Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ANTH:US) declined the most in New York trading since its March 2010 initial public offering after saying its experimental lupus drug didn’t meet the goal of a clinical test.

Anthera fell 67 percent to 91 cents at 9:56 a.m. New York time, the biggest intraday drop since it first offered shares to the public. The results of the mid-stage trial show the medication, known as blisibimod, acted differently on patients depending on the severity and type of their disease, meaning additional studies will need to target a certain group of patients, the Hayward, California-based company said in a statement yesterday.

Anthera’s blisibimod trails GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK)’s Benlysta, which was approved in the U.S. last year as the first new drug in 52 years for lupus, an autoimmune disease. Benlysta is the main reason for Glaxo’s takeover bid for Human Genome Sciences Inc., which helped develop the medicine and splits the sales and profits with the London-based drugmaker.

“This is obviously very good news for Benlysta’s sales potential,” said Jose Aymami, a fund manager at Merchbanc in Barcelona who holds Human Genome shares.

The company said it plans to move blisibimod into the final stage of clinical trials usually needed for regulatory approval.

To contact the reporter on this story: Makiko Kitamura in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at

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